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Was emailed via several individuals all older programs are being terminated

I think R (for References) would be a good addition to EDGE. In many cases, knowing where and how to find the information is just as important as the information itself.

We could call it the HEDGE Method:


OK. I had too much fun fiddling with that acroynm until I got something to fit. :rofl:


LOL, Charley! :joy:

The reference(s) might be something other than the Handbook, though. I was thinking R-EDGE or EDGE-R.

I like REDGE… how many votes can we get

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Continuing the off-topic slide, if we’re going to stick with the more general “References”

call it the RIDGE Method:


It’s even kinda fits the outdoorsy theme.


@Stephen_Hornak, for what it’s worth some of us have been discussing this for a very long time here’s a protracted eight-year rambling from a bunch of curmudgeons on the topic I could give you more, but my bottom line:

It’s the looking at references (and building tools to accurately replicate them in large volume) that brought Western Civilization out of the dark ages.

@Qwazse - that is awesome. I may well have to join that forum if I have not already… at my age I sometimes forget what I have joined or not joined.

Thank you for coming up with that, @CharleyHamilton. Honestly, I don’t think we need an acronym at all. This stuff doesn’t translate into other languages well. But, if we’re going to use one, RIDGE sounds cool.
There might be some who say “instruct” is basically EDGE, and that “demonstrate” should come before “enable”, but I disagree. Instruct is what scouts do best. It’s basically figuring out what someone doesn’t know and filling in the gaps. So, a lot of times after talking through a reference, we say “try it” with a little hand-holding. After that we figure out what they don’t understand.and demonstrate and enable that step.

I think the “Churchill Project” was likely a good starting point. Quite honestly I would like to know some statistics for the 18 to 21 group. Last start with the elephant of YPT. Keep in mind violations here are the most likely since one day a member can hang with their troop/crew member and the next day BSA says that activity can’t be done.

Personally I would be in favor of making 19 or 20 the age of adults. Or perhaps add an element of the school year. Seems crazy to me that we cut some youth off just as they enter their senior year of HS. Every portion of the program except this has a grade component.

While we are looking at this, let’s talk about cost. And then also talk about what the demographic wants/needs.

But it would appear to be:
Ready, Fire, Aim or
Fire, Ready, Aim

The Order of the Arrow regards those between the ages of 18 and 20 registered as assistant Scoutmasters in troops as youth members for all OA purposes. They even get a vote in unit elections.

@SteveCagigas - I believe the 2020 OA national chief is only registered as an ASM with his home troop in Virginia. The 2019 national chief was registered as an 18+ youth in a Sea Scout ship.

I’m not currently involved in Venturing, but, when I was, I felt it was a terrific program for the 18 to 20 year olds. They are still getting used to being adults. It would be a shame if they lost this and Sea Scouting for the sake of saving money. Let’s be honest. They can vote and enter into contract, but, in many ways, they are still youth.

If this is extended to the Order of the Arrow, the logistics will be hard to overcome. The national chief would have to have his or her 17th (or earlier) birthday during his or her term. The national officers do so much traveling around the country to represent the Order, it has to be convenient that the officeholder is a YPT adult. In addition, how can a high school student manage that schedule? It would also likely limit candidates for national office to those who made Eagle 16 or younger. There are many great young people who are only 16, but could the OA identify six of them every year that can make the type of commitment required of a national officer?

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Girl Scouts of the USA considers the girl a youth member until September 30 after she finishes high school, even if she has turned 19 by then. That’s the deadline for completing Gold Award requirements.

All GSUSA registrations are on an October 1 to September 30 fiscal year. So, her adult tenure starts with her first adult registration on October 1.

As a Sm years ago, I recall a pair of twins who turned 18 in the fall of their senior year. Their mother had held them out of kindergarten for an extra year, because they were a bit small. They felt like they had one less year to earn Eagle than everyone else.

They both made it.

This could happen in most any program including GSUSA. I personally believe that this is an area we could learn from the Girl Scouts though. I also think their Ambassador Program is a great idea.

As one who went into the Army (active duty) at 17 I can assure you that it was weird. Even as I became an NCO it was weird because in some ways I was way more mature than “youth” and other ways I was not.

I personally strongly believe the 18 to 21 age range should have its own rules even if it makes life more complicated. But I haven’t seen evidence to believe BSA will correct their course in the area. And making such a change probably shouldn’t occur until after the law suit(s) have settled down.

It would not really happen in Girl Scouts. If a girl is held out of kindergarten for an extra year by her parents, that decision buys her an extra year to earn the Gold Award, because a girl “ages” out by grade, not by chronological age.

Had my twin Scouts been Girl Scouts and I their Girl Scout troop leader, instead of needing to finish Eagle by early December of their senior year in high school, they would have had until September 30 after they graduated and would have been just over two months shy of 19 years old.

But … when do Scouts BSA “age in”? Age 10 upon 5th grade graduation or AoL completion otherwise age 11.
GS/USA cadettes "grade in"at 6th and “grade out” after 12th.
It’s roughly 7 years in either organization. What parents decide for the purposes of education when the child is 5 years old is immaterial.

And, let’s remind ourselves: nobody needs to finish Eagle … ever … period. Your twins and my two sons (who might as well have been twins 6 years apart) didn’t need to consume their senior years with those last few badges and formidable service projects … they could have chosen to wrap things up their freshman, sophomore, or junior years. Or, they could have said, “Forget it.” Their choice.

@Qwazse - You’re preaching to the choir. I had everything done and submitted my Eagle application at the age of 14. A seven-month delay caused by an illness in the district advancement committee caused my board of review to be held 2 1/2 months after my 15th birthday.

Nevertheless, the average age of a Scout making Eagle is over 17. When they’re 15, their 18th birthday seems very far away to them.

I currently have a Scout in my pack who is finishing fourth grade next week and turned 11 last month. His parents held him back an extra year from starting school. He’s eligible to join a troop, but is staying in the pack to earn the Arrow of Light. Every day he does that costs him a day to earn Eagle. Since he will be 11 1/2 when we recharter in December, he will not be eligible to be a Cub Scout in 2021. So, he needs to finish the Arrow of Light by the end of the year. Effectively, being held back in school has cost him a few months of time to work on the Arrow of Light. If we presume that he would have finished it and COVID-19 (an outlier) would not have happened, he would have lost a year of Scouts BSA summer camp.

I was a Scoutmaster for seven years, and there were several Scouts in my troop who did not make Eagle of whom I was more proud than several who did, so I get that not every Scout has to make Eagle.

If you count Cadettes, Girl Scouts get roughly seven years plus a summer to earn the Gold Award. However, the amount of work a girl needs to do during her three Cadette years to earn the Silver Award far exceeds the credit she gets against the Gold Award requirements. In other words, she needs to get a whole lot done in those three years to save herself just a little trouble in her four Senior/Ambassador years.

But every girl gets those seven years plus a summer (the one after fifth grade, unless she spends it finishing up the Bronze Award, which has no bearing on Gold plus the one after 12th grade).

So, the Scout in my pack COULD have joined a Scouts BSA troop in May and given up on the Arrow of Light. Had he done so on his birthday, he would have had exactly seven years as a Scouts BSA youth member. His parents understand that and want him to finish AoL. The goal is to cross him over in the fall. That will give him a few months short of seven years, but he will turn 18 at the end of his junior year in high school.

If he were a Girl Scout, he would continue as a Junior through June 2021, and then become a Cadette. Even if he wasn’t done with the Bronze Award and needed next summer, he could work on Cadette advancement as soon as he was done with fifth grade. The same thing would be true if he wasn’t done with the Silver Award at the end of eighth grade. He could start working on Senior advancement. When his 18th birthday came in May of his junior year in high school, he would still have 16 1/2 months left as an Ambassador to complete the Gold Award and might already be 19 when he was done.

So, yes, it is roughly the same seven years. But the mechanics in the BSA mean that he only gets all seven of those years, if he gives up on the Arrow of Light. No similar sacrifice of the Bronze Award is needed by a GSUSA youth. She will still get her whole 7+ year window.

Those twins back in the day were both great ASMs during the last seven months of their senior year in high school. The experience of taking responsibility as an adult was a good one for both of them. But they could not help feeling that their youth membership ended a little earlier than it should have.

So, now as a Cubmaster, I have an interesting situation. I have a young lady who skipped kindergarten. She joined last fall, and her parents wanted to register her as a Tiger, even though she was only five. I looked into this, and the choice between Lion and Tiger was theirs. She didn’t turn 6 until January of her Tiger year. Projecting forward, she will be nine when she finishes fourth grade, and she will still be 9 six months after completing fourth grade. This means she could earn the Arrow of Light at the age of 9 and not be eligible to move on to a Scouts BSA troop, because she does not meet the minimum age of 10. She will turn 10 in January of her fifth grade year. Since we recharter in December, she will have to recharter with us as a Cub Scout, even if she has the Arrow of Light. If she joins a troop on her tenth birthday, she will have eight years as a Scouts BSA youth member.

Being involved as a GSUSA volunteer as well, I can say with certainty that Eagle Scout candidates have no monopoly over waiting until the the closure of the eligibility window is in sight to work on their organization’s highest award. Gold Award candidates typically make a presentation about their project at monthly service unit meetings (the rough equivalent of a roundtable). They do this to solicit help from volunteers such a girls from other troops and sometimes to request financial assistance. A GSUSA service unit is typically much smaller than a BSA district. Ours covers the area served by two public elementary schools. Service units are also managed by volunteers much more so than a district. For instance, our service unit treasurer is a volunteer, and she has possession and control over the service unit’s bank account. The service unit can fundraise for itself and also earn money by charging girls fees to attend its events. All this is done with little involvement from the professional staff. A service unit like ours passes a volunteer approved budget, and one of the line items is financial assistance for Gold Award projects. This is why Gold Award candidates make their presentations.

If a girl makes a presentation in the spring, she may be a high school junior or senior. Girls who make presentations in the fall are seniors. So far, in three years, I haven’t seen anyone younger than that make such a presentation, even though a girl may begin work on the Gold Award in ninth grade.

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This is where worrying about this at a Pack level can really bring a fella down:

It doesn’t cost him anything in terms of Eagle. A scouts chances of Eagle don’t increase by starting younger. Especially if it means starting younger pulls him from classmates and puts him in a troop with guys who aren’t his friends. That might be enough to have a boy quit scouting after a year.
And that’s something I’d talk to the parents of your 9 year old quickly-advancing scout. She needs to know she is welcome to stay with the den as long as she wants – maybe help some of her buddies get AoL. Or, if she visits a troop and has met some good friends there, she could cross-over. But the extra time in Scouts BSA doesn’t mean earlier advancement through the program. So many other factors come into play, tenure is washed out.

I think here the Girl Scouts can serve as an example. Like you said, most really can’t start on their gold award in earnest until two years before they “grade out.” Like Scouts BSA, those years before age 14 are about becoming first class (the concept, although with Scouts BSA, that comes with a patch). Starting in earnest on the upper ranks much earlier than that suits those rare scouts, and those rare scouts don’t need a longer tenure in the first place.

If I heard from our Cub leaders that scouts were getting bored in the Pack and dying to move up to the troop, I guess I’d think differently. But so far I’ve just seen happy cubs who want to stick with their den.


Heck, if a Scout joins a Troop at the ripe old age of 12, they’ll still have most of 6 years to earn their Eagle badge if that’s their goal. That’s plenty of time for a Scout that wants to earn Eagle.

On the other hand, if earning Eagle isn’t the Scout’s goal – and that’s totally fine – no amount of time will be enough.

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@Qwazse - I think the earlier a Scout starts on the advancement trail, the better chance s/he has of reaching the end of it. I earned the Arrow of Light at 9 and attended summer camp with a troop before turning 10. I advanced very quickly, and I think it helped to be able to do so before my life and hormones got more complicated. I was 11 at my Life board of review.

I agree with you that a Scout moving on to a troop too early could mean the Scout is gone form the program before really getting started. When the time comes for my very young Wolf, her parents will need to make a decision. Since you can recharter any Cub Scout who is not yet 11 1/2, she can actually have three years as a Webelos Scout, if that’s what she wants. I just don’t know what she would do with all that extra time as a Cub Scout.

@Qwazse - Girl Scouts CAN earn the Gold Award as Seniors (9th and 10th grade), but so far in three years, I haven’t seen any do that in my service unit. Every applicant that comes before the service unit has been an Ambassador.

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