Best ideas for Tenderfoot to First Class

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Best ideas for Tenderfoot to First Class

Postby lambeausam » Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:03 pm

I am trying to create a sample program to present to our troop for the new/first year scouts. Would anyone be willing to share some activities/ideas that they use in their troop?

Thank you!

Sam
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Re: Best ideas for Tenderfoot to First Class

Postby ThunderingWind » Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:12 pm

Review several of the First Class-First year programs that you can find using Google.
Look at the schedule listed and map it against your Troops projected schedule.
Also do a map against the FCFY program offered at your Summer Camp.

Then use EDGE to "teach" all the rest. Do not worry about overlap of some trainging. Tell the boys
that this is anotehr way to ensure they learned the skill, still remember the skill, and get good at because
they will be teaching the skill to the the next class of New Scouts.

I have found that by "requiring" all new crossover Scouts to take part in the FCFY program at summer camp,
they get a better overall experience. Most programs also include earning a merit badge or two or are just
half day programs aloowing other classes to be taken.

Also, I have found that is best to keep these boys together as a patrol for at least nine months before shuffling
patrols (depending on how you Troops does patrols).

Also, the SM MUST, MUST, MUST by in on hand selecting an extremely good Troop Guide and Instructor to work as a team to
hep this new patrol. A good ASM that is there to mentor the entire patrol is also a great addition.
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Re: Best ideas for Tenderfoot to First Class

Postby lambeausam » Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:15 am

Thank you for the tips. For the EDGE, I was going to create a list of the scouts that haven't reached their EDGE requirements and offer the opportunity to them.

BTW - An early congratulations on your beads tomorrow!
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Re: Best ideas for Tenderfoot to First Class

Postby alex gregory » Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:06 pm

Outings, outings, and then more outings.

As long as your troop is scOUTING at least once a month almost all the trail-to-first-class is pretty darn easy and just happens.

The scout handbook is about all the curriculum you really need.

Unlike many unit leaders, I really do not like the TTFC programs at summer camp. First year campers can easily handle core merit badges, and satisy rank requirements as they are earning merit badges. I think it's silly to pass on something like Pioneering or Swimming merit badge just to work on TTFC stuff that should be happening all the time. The more merit badges scouts earn the first 3 years before they become jaded high-schoolers the better!
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Re: Best ideas for Tenderfoot to First Class

Postby Billiken » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:24 am

alex gregory wrote:Unlike many unit leaders, I really do not like the TTFC programs at summer camp. First year campers can easily handle core merit badges, and satisy rank requirements as they are earning merit badges. I think it's silly to pass on something like Pioneering or Swimming merit badge just to work on TTFC stuff that should be happening all the time. The more merit badges scouts earn the first 3 years before they become jaded high-schoolers the better!


I completely agree.
Nearly all of our first year campers (recently crossed-over WEBELOS) take Swimming MB and two other MBs.

Since we sleep in our own tents and cook our own food, there's plenty of opportunity to complete the cooking requirements. Also, we usually have 4 or 5 (or more) adult leaders in camp at all times so working on T, 2nd, and 1st requirements can be done in the Scouts' spare time.
"The only problem with Boy Scouts is, there aren't enough of them." Will Rogers
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Re: Best ideas for Tenderfoot to First Class

Postby RWSmith » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:07 pm

I pretty much agree with y'all. But, I can see an advantage to "First Year" or "New Scout" programs (and have worked with them in the past).

    If an active Webelos Scout (at least one camp-out there) crossed over in Feb., and has already been on a few overnighters with the Troop by the time Summer Camp rolls around, then what's the point? He's certainly "ready" and should go straight to MBs.

    If however, a kid comes into the Troop right before Summer Camp (say, a month or two), esp. if he has little or no Cub/Webelos experience, a "New Scout" program might be better (and more enjoyable) for him.

In my opinion: The key here is that the UL should never pigeon-hole one way or the other... IOW, always view this on a case-by-case basis; take each Scout's best interest (and his wishes) into consideration; and, when in doubt, defer to the former, rather than the latter.

Just food for thought.
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Re: Best ideas for Tenderfoot to First Class

Postby Fred Johnson » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:33 pm

Great advice! I'll suggest at our next committee meeting that we adopt this approach for the next summer camp. Case by case consideration with the choice given to the scout. If in doubt, put the scout in control of his own advancement and scouting experience.

Our troop has made the mistake of having "ALL" new scouts take the "brownsea" sessions at summer camp. Some brownsea sessions are really good. Sometimes they are painfully dry. "For a few new / inexperienced scouts", it is a great catch-up. For others, it is a waste of time and frustrating.

Even if the scouts don't do the summer camp brownsea session, the scouts have plenty of opportunities to learn individual first class skills from the SPL, ASPL, SM and ASMs. The brownsea staff will even come to troop camp sites during free time to work individual skills.

My main goal for the scouts at summer camp is that they do something, hopefully learn something and have a good summer camp experience.
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Re: Best ideas for Tenderfoot to First Class

Postby lambeausam » Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:47 pm

Billiken wrote:
alex gregory wrote:Unlike many unit leaders, I really do not like the TTFC programs at summer camp. First year campers can easily handle core merit badges, and satisy rank requirements as they are earning merit badges. I think it's silly to pass on something like Pioneering or Swimming merit badge just to work on TTFC stuff that should be happening all the time. The more merit badges scouts earn the first 3 years before they become jaded high-schoolers the better!

I completely agree.
Nearly all of our first year campers (recently crossed-over WEBELOS) take Swimming MB and two other MBs.
Since we sleep in our own tents and cook our own food, there's plenty of opportunity to complete the cooking requirements. Also, we usually have 4 or 5 (or more) adult leaders in camp at all times so working on T, 2nd, and 1st requirements can be done in the Scouts' spare time.


This is the exact situation I am trying to remedy. Our unit camps every month, so we definitely have the events. What is lacking is the awareness of who needs what (hike, compass, etc) and creating opportunities. My middle guy crossed last February with lots of camping experience, both family and scouting. He spent his summer camp time working on some merit badges that enticed him. Reading the camp literature regarding the First Class Trail, I was not sure that it was worth the time. He already had his First Aid MB, so he didn't need any of the first aid options offered. Pretty much the only other skills offered were knots. Rather disappointing.

The camp my oldest son attended as a first year was completely different and the First Class Trail was well planned. The kids worked on First Aid and Cooking MBs along with the other group skills in the morning, allowing for a handricraft or Swimming MB after lunch. The evening had additional opportunities such as the map/compass trail and hikes.
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Re: Best ideas for Tenderfoot to First Class

Postby kwildman » Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:43 am

Great advice. But for those scouts that need help I would always err on the side of putting them through the first year emphasis program provided that the camp provides a good program. Remember that the advancement recommendations is First Class in the First Year. There is a big correlation between scouts that don't advance dropping out of the program.
No one can pass through life, any more than he can pass through a bit of country, without leaving tracks behind, and those tracks may often be helpful to those coming after him in finding their way. - Lord Baden-Powell
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Re: Best ideas for Tenderfoot to First Class

Postby alex gregory » Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:33 pm

"What is lacking is the awareness of who needs what (hike, compass, etc) and creating opportunities."

So the issue is not so much curriculum or program as much as it is keeping track of who has done what.

An active scout in a troop that is doing lots of outings should easily earn 95+% of TTFC rank requirements within 12 to 18 months without having to sit through an "Eagle Quest" program at summer camp and have the requirements spoon fed as if he were still a itty bitty wittle Tiger scout (OK, I'm being a little bit mean, must be the Grinch in me). Too many troops seem to leave it all up to summer camp. Scouting should be year-round and advancement should happen all year, not just one week at summer camp. Frankly, I think spending a substantial time at Eagle Quest at summer camp is a wasted opportunity when you consider all the other cool stuff to do that will not only get you a merit badge but is also likley to satisfy rank requirements at the same time.

The tracking issue is easily resolved by making sure the guys bring their handbooks to troop meetings, and having older scouts, ASMs, and/or the advancement chair on hand to check the books and see what's been done and what's missing. A common mistake scouts make is forgetting to get signed off for requirements when or shortly after they have completed the requirement. A scout needs to learn to be accountable for his own advancement by making sure he gets credit for what he has done and keeping track of his own advancement records.

If the unit leaders are regularly checking handbooks they will get a very good sense of what individual scouts and similar age/rank scouts are missing, and work those requirements into the program. If the new scout is regularly meeting with unit leaders and reviewing his handbook for updates that scout will also quickly figure out what he needs for the next rank, and the scout will make sure he gets it done (which is actually the best way advancement should be tracked).

Lastly, who said a scout has to learn stuff at camp or with the troop? If a scout only needs to learn a few knots to complete a rank, then he should open his handbook (he got his very own handbook for a reason), find a scrap of rope, learn the knots at home, show off his stuff at the next troop meeting, and proceed directly to a SM Conference and BOR.
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