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BSA to use Scout Oath and Scout Law for all programs

Update, Jan. 27, 2014: Sea Scouts, see how this applies to you here.

It’s official: The resolution to move to one Oath and Law for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity, Sea Scouts, and Venturing was approved this morning by the Boy Scouts of America’s executive board.

I first told you about the volunteer-led proposal in a blog post in August.

Essentially, this means every Scout of any age will use the Scout Oath and Law instead of reciting separate, program-specific sayings. Cub Scouts will recite the Scout Oath and Law instead of the Cub Scout Promise and Law of the Pack. Similarly, Venturers will no longer use the Venturing Oath and Venturing Code.

Because it will take time to transition into this new approach, the changes are not immediate.

The Venturing change will not happen until late 2013 or early 2014; the Cub Scout change will take effect in mid-2015. Stay tuned to my blog for exact dates as I get them.

Additionally, the newly adopted resolution replaces the full-hand Venturing sign and salute with the three-finger Boy Scout sign and salute.

UPDATE (10/18/12): I confirmed the above sentence today. Venturing will begin to use the Scout sign and Scout salute. This wasn’t mentioned in the resolution because the sign and salute are not specified in the rules and regulations.

For the full resolution and answers to some frequently asked questions, follow the jump: 

Frequently asked questions

Here are the BSA’s answers to some questions already received…

Q: What, specifically, is being changing?

A: Cub Scouts:

• Adopt the Scout Oath and Law for use in the Cub Scout program, retiring the Cub Scout Promise.

• Revise the Core Values of Cub Scouts to align exactly with the 12 points of the Scout Law.

• Retire the Law of the Pack, while maintaining the concept of “Akela” as leader.

• Maintain the current Cub Scout motto, sign, salute, and handshake.

A: Venturing:

• Retire the Venturing Oath, Code, sign and salute

• Adopt the Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout sign, and Scout salute

• Engage the task force and National Youth Cabinet to determine whether Venturing should have a differentiating motto/slogan or adopt “Be Prepared”

Q: Why are these changes happening?

A: Each of our programs is designed to help instill the goals of the BSA mission in its members’ daily lives. As the BSA strives to operate as one organization, build continuity of membership over a person’s life, and deliver its mission, considering one Oath and Law as a tool to unify our membership is appropriate. Additionally, the earlier and longer a member is exposed to the values of the Scout Oath and Law, the better the opportunity is that they will be able to live those values in their lives.

Q: How did these recommendations come to be?

A: Two separate task forces have worked on the deliberations leading to the recommendations – the Strategic Plan Goal 411 Task Force and the Venturing Task Force. Each of these is volunteer-led and staffed (approximately 50 and 25 volunteers, respectively).

These task forces made the initial deliberations and recommendations beginning in 2011 and early 2012 respectively.

In the case of the Cub Scout, the 411 task force consulted with cognitive and child development specialists and educational practitioners involved in Scouting. Specifically, these professional and scouters were asked to consider age & developmental appropriateness of the current Cub Scout Promise and Law of the Pack versus the Scout Oath and Law. The outcome of this study suggested that comprehension difficulty is high for both but not materially higher for the Scout Oath. Further the study group concluded that Cub Scouts could understand the Scout Law just as well as the Cub Scout Promise with appropriate support and guidance. Additionally, research among parents (62% favorable) and Cub Scout leaders (59% favorable) was also supportive. Cub Scouts would not be asked to memorize or recite the Scout Law at early ages.

With respect to Venturing, the primary discussion points centered around the length and lack of use of the current Venturing Code, the desire to support a seamless set of value statements between Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venturing (one program) and a desire to align Venturing’s value statements with those used for similar age programs worldwide.

Q: Isn’t the Scout Oath and Law much more difficult for Cub Scout age boys to memorize and understand?

A: This was an initial concern of the task force. To address this concern, the task force recruited a group of individuals with experience in child development and linguistics and a group of educational practitioners. All of these individuals are Scouters.

After study, the group’s conclusions were:

• Both sets of value statements contain complex concepts requiring support and guidance for the user to fully understand and learn to live buy.

• Both sets of values statements are written at a relatively high reading level, but the Scout Oath is not significantly more difficult to read and comprehend than the Cub Scout Promise.

• The Law of the Pack is significantly more difficult for Cub Scout age boys to understand than either the Cub Scout Promise or the Scout Oath and contains concepts for which younger Cub Scouts are not developmentally prepared.

• Cub Scout age boys will be able to learn and comprehend the Scout Oath with support and guidance similar to that currently provided when learning the Cub Scout Promise (cards as prompts, guided discussion on meaning, etc.).

• Cub Scouts in early ranks should not be expected to memorize the Scout Law but are developmentally ready to begin exposure to the words of the Law and are ready to begin building understanding of the concepts with help.

Q: Cub Scouts is not Boy Scouts. If Cub Scouts use the Scout Oath and Law, what will separate the programs, what will the boys look forward to?

A: Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are separate programs. Cub Scouts preparing to move to Boy Scouts will continue to anticipate the new uniform, the increase in independence and leadership growth of the patrol method, the enhanced opportunities for fun and adventure thru age appropriate troop activities they could not do as Cub Scouts and the Boy Scout advancement program and other opportunities. Use of the same Oath and Law will unify them with their older “brothers” but will not make them Boy Scouts.

Full resolution

Click here to download (PDF).

What do you think?

Comments are open for your reaction to this move. How will it affect your Scouting life?


Photo: Some rights reserved by PruittAllen

317 Comments on BSA to use Scout Oath and Scout Law for all programs

  1. Wow this will really keep things simple. We are excited about this upcoming change!

    • Bryan, no plans to have Tigers – Bears memorize the Scout Law. It will, however, become the elements of the Cub Scout Core Values and be built into the character education we offer in the Cub Scout program

      • If you don’t need to memorize, then what are we doing to the Bobcat requirements? Do we just give a Bobcat to every boy that puts on a uniform without asking anything else of them?

        • The actual requirement says to “Learn and say the CUB SCOUT PROMISE” and “Say the LAW OF THE PACK”. It wasn’t until recently when I was training Cub Scout leaders that someone asked, “where does it say memorize?”. All this time I interpreted “say” as “from memory”. When the requirement does not say from “memory”. The only requirement for memory is Requirement 2 of the Arrow of Light.

        • Aaron and James, I agree with both of you. I think the goal of the requirements is to create a sense of … I can’t think of the right word here, inclusion? belonging? The need to fulfill those requirements before they can receive any other awards. While my unit is not super strict with the younger ones, we feel its important to understand what they are being asked to say. We start every meeting, whether Den or Pack, with the Promise and the Law. I feel that the message of CUB Scouting will be lacking once the Cub Scout Promise and Law of the Pack are gone. How is the idea of Akela supposed to be reinforced??

  2. This plan makes sense. The Cub Scout Promise is quite similar to the Boy Scout Oath. So similar, in fact, that on many occaisions I’ve observed Scouts and Scouters stuble through one or the other when they inadvertently use the words from the
    wrong one. The most common example that I’ve observed is the accidental omission of “…and to obey the Scout Law…” in the Boy Scout Oath. Additionally, I think I can count on one hand the number of Cub Scouts and Cub Scout Leaders that I’ve met who can recite the Law of the Pack without assistance. The wording is a bit klunky and it seems that it has fallen into disuse. Discontinuing it in favor of aligning the Scout Law with Cub Scouting’s Core Values makes perfect sense. Like the Law of the Pack, I know few Cub Scout Leaders who are well-versed in the 12 Core Values.

  3. Fred Heilbrunn // October 17, 2012 at 12:54 pm // Reply

    This decision is just about as moronic as the failed Skill Award experiment of the 70’s and 80’s. Let’s just throw out all of our traditions while we’re at it. There must be earthquakes in Kenya caused by B-P revolving in his grave. While the powers that be scramble around in blind panic trying to save BSA from the attacks of the PC left, they forget that our strength lies in what has worked for more than a century. Gump said it right: “Stupid is as stupid does.”

    • Frank Miller // October 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm // Reply

      sometimes when you are up to your buttocks in aligators, it is hard to remember that your main objective was to drain the swamp. Never the less, that doesn’t excuse the stupidity of this decision.

    • Mary Triplett // October 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm // Reply

      Fred = I agree with you Lord Powell our founder of Boy Scouts and his brother Admiral William Powell are definitely rolling over in their respective graves. I’m associated with two types of Scouting- both Troop and Sea Scouts. I’m also a teacher in public school and elementary students cannot learn or understand the complexity of such the oath. Their minds need simple phrases. As for Sea Scouts apparently these members are like many in the world of Scouting and know VERY little of Sea Scouts. Knowing the Boy Scout oath and law IS a rank requirment from Seaman Recruit to Seaman Apprentice. So why change it for the Sea Scouts? The board which took units such as Explorers and Sea Scouts and dumped them into Venturing years ago made a huge mistake- these are career units not an additional traditional boy scout type unit as most Venturing Crews are. Now this board makes things worst by this stupid move. I’m almost betting that if Lord Powell and Admiral Powell could rise from their graves they’d be extremely irrate over things in today’s scouting.

  4. How will this change the Bobcat requirements????

    • I mean effect the requirements… if the Cubs are not expected to memorize the Scout Law. Tigers need their Bobcat to earn other awards too.

      • Faun Guarino // October 17, 2012 at 2:42 pm // Reply

        I understand and agree. While I have no problems with the boys reading (whichever) promise or following along on a poster, it will frustrate many of the little ones who do desire to learn, understand and recite from memory. We have to just keep working with them to understand the language and not push them too hard.

        • Michael Vitucci // October 17, 2012 at 4:08 pm //

          I trust we will keep the Motto.

        • Faun Guarino // October 17, 2012 at 4:18 pm //

          Mike – you should know better than to trust any of the pronouncements!!

      • REPOST: The actual requirement says to “Learn and say the CUB SCOUT PROMISE” and “Say the LAW OF THE PACK”. It wasn’t until recently when I was training Cub Scout leaders that someone asked, “where does it say memorize?”. All this time I interpreted “say” as “from memory”. When the requirement does not say from “memory”. The only requirement for memory is Requirement 2 of the Arrow of Light.

  5. I would hope that Sea Scouting still retains the Sea Promise, as, that is more specific to what we do, and our operations. The Scout Oath and Law contain the core values inherent in all Scouting programs, as espoused by the Scouting Mission Statement..

    • The Sea Promise is not being retired. Sea Scouting will still have the Sea Promise in addition to the Boy Scout Oath and Law just like any other Venturing unit.

    • The Sea Scout Promise hasn’t been in the recent editions of the Rules and Regulations nor the bylaw that this resolution changes, just like the Scout Sign, Venturing Sign, Cub Scout Sign. Therefor the resolution doesn’t state it. But some of them are addressed in the FAQ. But I wouldn’t place any bets on Sea Scouts until you see something published to that effect.

      At present it seems Sea Scouting had the Promise sort of as outside of the published policies of the BSA, just as a part of official handbooks and the such. Never know if it will be retained until those actially are published.

      • Mary Triplett // October 17, 2012 at 4:56 pm // Reply

        Jeff I disagree with you- on page 49 of the 2010 Sea Scout manual under advancment to Seaman Apprentice in the ideals section it states ” Repeat from memory and discuss with an adult leader the Sea Promise. Discuss the BSA Mission Statement, the BSA Vision Statement, the Scout Oath and Law and agree to carry out the provisions of your ship’s code and bylaws.” The only thing which the printers didn’t do in this manual and put the sea scout oath in it. However you can find it on http://www.seascout.org/about/ideals.html.
        And for one who doesn’t recognize it, it reads as follows:
        To guard against water accidents;
        To know the location and proper use of the lifesaving devices on every boat I board;
        To be prepared to render aid to those in need;
        To seek to preserve the motto of the sea, Women and children first.

        • Hi Mary, that’s my point. Google around for the Bylaws of the BSA or the Rules and Regs of the BSA. Though the Cub Scout Promise, Boy Scout Oath, and Venturing Oath were all included in these documents, Sea Scouts was not. Only reference to Sea Scouts as part of Venturing.

          In a similar vein, the Venturing Sign, Scout Sign, and Cub Scout sign are not in these above documents. What was passed by the national board was a resolution adjusting the BSA Bylaws and Rules and Regs. The Sea Scout Promise, Venturing Sign, and Cub Scout Sign aren’t in the Resolution.

          But what I was saying, is that the BSA has added the Sign changes to the FAQ for the resolution, claiming they are changing. This will be executed in the next publications. There is nothing in the resolution, nor the rules and regs of the BSA that Sea Scouts will keep or loose their Promise, because they never existed in the Rules and Regs.

          The Sea Scout Promise may go the way of the Venturing Sign, because neither was in the rules and regs, and seemingly can be changed whenever someone at National publishes a book.

          Do note, that if the Sea Scouts keep their promise it will be at least as a secondary Promise. Sea Scouts WILL be using the Scout Oath and Law according to the resolution as passed. Whether you have something additional may still be up in the air.

        • The Sea Scout Promise is not being retired. The group that proposed the resolution stated that they were not looking at the Sea Scout Promise in their discussions.

          The Sea Scout promise has always been a secondary promise to the Venturing Oath and Code for Sea Scouting.

    • Mary Triplett // October 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm // Reply

      Mr Bubbles I’m in 100% agreement with you. Also if anyone on that board hasn’t realize it part of the rank requirement from Seaman Recruit to Seaman Apprentice is knowing and demonstrating that you do know the Boy Scout Oath and Law. Something which is also very much aligned with the Army JROTC cadet creed. I know this because I’m in a Troop, a Ship and since 2006 with Army JROTC battalion.

      Out of curiousity- where is your ship? Mine’s in Orange City,
      FL

  6. I think this is probably a good move. I heard a couple months ago that they were changing the motto also. I would take issue with that.

  7. I also hope that Sea Scouts keep the Sea Promise. It is more geared to them anyway. As a Venturer myself, we do recite the current Venture Oath at our meetings. I hoped it would stay that way because we are first Venturers, then a part of BSA.

    • Based on how many parts of Venturing are being retired, it only strengthens my belief that Venturing is always treated as the red-headed step-child of the Scouting program. Most Scouters don’t realize all of the amazing potential in Venturing. I mean, there are Crews specializing in Civil War reenactments for pete’s sake.

      • Mary Triplett // October 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm // Reply

        Brian if you think that traditional Venturing crews are treated as red-headed stepchildren, trying being in Sea Scouts or Police or Fire Explorers. In our council Sea Scouts are treated as if we’re in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Police and Fire explorers, which 30 years ago were part of the BSA, are treated as if they’re either in a police headquarters or fighting a fire somewhere. Its no wonder why none of the Sea Scouts or Explorers show up at roundtable – why be there if we treated as if we are NOT wanted?

        • Well, technically Sea Scouting is a subprogram of Venturing, although in my area, Sea Scouting is treated much better than other Venture Crews. I feel that Explorers are generally in the same boat as Venturing, although the separation between Learning for Life and the traditional Scouting programs makes that divide even more drastic.

  8. This will be an interesting debacle. I can’t wait to see how this plays out. I am skeptical of any changes this dramatic to the programs. Sometimes, making something easier is not what is in the best interest of the boys. Time will tell.

  9. Reblogged this on Just Scouting and commented:
    I know some people are not too pleased with this move but personally I thing this is a great move by the BSA. It puts it out there that this is one program and not three separate. Kudos to the BSA!

    • I heartily disagree with your description of ‘one program’. I can see how Boy Scouting can be viewed as a continuation and expansion from Cub Scouting, but not with Boy Scouting into Venturing. Into Venture Scouting, yes. Venturing is more of a step sideways from Boy Scouting. The fact that one can be in a Boy Scouting Troop and several Venturing Crews shows that things are going in many different directions.

    • I disagree. The reasoning behind this is confusing. Per the Q&A above, “the BSA strives to operate as one organization” but “Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are separate programs.” So, clearly this isn’t to make this one program.

    • Faun Guarino // October 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm // Reply

      We are NOT one program — we are ONE organization with many different programs to meet the needs of different segments of the population – by age, gender, cultural identity (remember the Hispanic soccer program?) and socio-economic situation (Learning for Life). One size does not fit all!

    • Kelly Horton // October 17, 2012 at 4:45 pm // Reply

      I was involved in Royal Rangers for 5 years. R.R. had the same Code and Motto for all of the age groups. The Rangers Kids did not have any problem understanding the 12 points which are in essence the same as the BSA Scout Law.
      The 4 programs were different since you are dealing with boys ages 4-18. R.R. also went to the same colored uniforms instead of the Khaki and red shirts. Perhaps the BSA will do the same since Webelos II can opt for a scout uniform over the blue cub scout uniform. I have hear parents complain about purchasing a new uniform when the boy decides to go into scouts. I know that the ladies would rather have a khaki than a thin see- through yellow shirt.
      If the BSA did go to one colored uniform then they could place a velcro foot print to the left pocket for ranks, right pocket for patches, shoulder for unit patches since a boy may go to a different numbered troop or pack. To separate the age groups, a different colored should loop could be used.

  10. As a leader in Cubs, Boy Scouts and Venturing this makes life much simpler. I applaud the BSA for making the change.

  11. I am the SPL for my troop, we have a pack that is involved with us, we have our meetings at the same place and time, and I just started getting them to say the law of the pack, and the cub scout promise. This will be very disappointing to them, when its a tradition to say them.

  12. Seemed inevitable and on many levels I like this. I’m not one to keep tradition for tradition’s sake, nor do I like the trite phrase, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” That might work for a car, but people still get a new better car even if the old car isn’t broken.

    What’s going to really get everyone’s goat is when Scouting changes the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy — if you get my drift. When that comes out, you all will soon forget about this “minor” change to Scouting.)

  13. As a Pack Trainer currently working with our newest members (Tiger Cubs), after just completing the initial requirements for Bobcat, I noted that the requirements state, “Learn and say the CUB SCOUT PROMISE and complete the Honesty Character Connection,” “Say the CUB SCOUT MOTTO. A motto is a guiding principle,” and “Say the LAW OF THE PACK. Tell what it means.”

    It doesn’t say “memorize.” It says “Learn and say, Say, Say”.

    The criteria used to pass the requirements comes straight from the Cub Scout Leader Book, which is “Do Your Best.”

    So, I welcome this change as when the Cub Scouts are ready to join Boy Scouts, the one oath and law have already been instilled in them at their level and they will have an even better understanding when they work on the Boy Scout joining requirements.

    • Lou, your comments address my chief concern – the alignment of requirements. I agree with your assessment of “Do Your Best” as the criterion for passing the requirements, as it is with all other requirements. It’s going to be an interesting journey.

      • I concur Howard, the Cub Scout Law and Promise are a natural progression towards Boy Scouts. There is a HUGE difference between a 6 year old boy and a 12 year old. I understand the motto “Do Your Best”, but even with the current requirements I have many boys who still stress about knowing them verbatim.

    • Lou;

      I too concur that this will mesh well over time. Everyone needs to note that the Cub level changes are not immediate, so as to work on how to best implement and make it workable for younger kids. The sooner the basic elements of the Oath and Law are in the minds of youth, the better, as it really is a practical life guideline.

    • Excellent! I always inferred the need to memorize these things. It looks like I postponed one of my scouts bobcat badge for no good reason. Thanks for pointing this out to me. I will not make such a big deal about memorizing these in the future.

  14. My chief concern is the effect on Bobcat requirements for cubs (especially Tigers). I like the consistency this brings to the programs, and I certainly appreciate the alignment of the Cub Scout Core Values to the 12 tenets of the Scout Law. The Cub Scout Promise has had language changes over the years (most recently in 1971), so I don’t have any problem with changing it to align with the Boy Scout Oath. I do think the alignment of Bobcat, Webelos, and AoL achievements could be a challenge.

    • That is probably why they are implementing the Cub Scouting changes well after the Venturing changes.

  15. Looks like busywork, smells like busywork.
    I think the question “is this worth alienating Venturers” should have been given more consideration/weight. It might make sense, but it has annoyed a lot of people for no real reason. I don’t particularly care as a Scouter with absolutely no interest in Venturing, but it seems like the “Voice of the Scout” got drowned out on this one.

  16. Terry Webster // October 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm // Reply

    For Scouters who volunteer in both Cubs & Boy Scouts it will certainly make things easier to remember and teach. This comment may open up a flood gate, can we get OA to adapt the Scout Oath? Hardest thing I’ve ever had to remember. :-)

    • And while your at it, why don’t you replace the OA song with the Cub Scouts We Whistle While We Work, and replace the Sash with Cub Scout Belt Loops?

      • Faun Guarino // October 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm // Reply

        That’s when the masses will revolt. It’s fine for people to mess with the cub program, but not the other way around!!

  17. I want to see what this does to WEBELOS requirement 7B and Arrow of Light requirements 2.1 and 7A. These are now at least partly redundant.

  18. Bad thoughts: Only maintaining the Venturing uniform. While Boy Scouting and Venturing are two very different programs, the uniform and inclusion of female youth are the only outward difference between the two now.

    The possibility of unhappiness of these changes lasting for many years.

    Confusion for a few over the differences between the programs (Minor – more a result of supporters of the change trumpeting that Scouting is a single program).

    People calling Venturers ‘Venture Scouts’ because they are using the ‘Scout’ Oath and Law (Minor – many people make that mistake anyway).

    Good thoughts: Maintaining the current Cub Scout motto, sign, salute, handshake, and uniform.

    I can refer to the Boy Scout Oath and Law as the Scouting Oath and Law because there are no other Oaths and Laws in use.

    Maintaining the Sea Promise for Sea Scouting (It was never on the table to be removed, but this direction seems to indicate a slight possibility in the future.)

    • It what ways is Venturing a different program than Scouting?

      • Venturing is one of the Scouting programs. So is Boy Scouting and Cub Scouting. Those three programs are different Scouting programs within the BSA, with Venture Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Sea Scouting being further subprograms within Boy Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Venturing respectively.

        I’m going to assume you are asking about the differences between Venturing and Boy Scouting. (Although my differences between the programs comment was referring to Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Venturing.)

        In Boy Scouting, there is a single advancement track with many specialized offshoots (merit badges) that are relatively optional. The advancement track and required merit badges focus the program on outdoor skills, citizenship, leadership, etc. The advancement goal for Boy Scouts is generally to earn the Eagle rank.

        In Venturing, there is one generalized advancement track as well as other specialized advancement tracks. Working on the generalized track towards the Silver Award is a rough parallel to working towards the Eagle rank, but unlike Boy Scouting, it is not necessarily the advancement goal for every Venturer. Venturers may also be working on the Ranger, TRUST, Quest, or Quartermaster Awards, which are expert level awards in various specialities.

        Another difference is the focus of the Crews. Each Crew generally has a focus or specialization, such as the Sea Scouting subprogram which is the specialization of boating. There may be Crews focused in religious service, high adventure, civil war reenactments, search and rescue, sports, etc. And many Crews focus on learning more about their specialization and not on the advancements.

        There are more ways in which Venturing stands out from Boy Scouting, but I hope this response gives you a good start.

  19. Bill Fleming, Jr. // October 17, 2012 at 1:37 pm // Reply

    I like this change and think it will benefit the boys and make the Oath and Law a unifying attribute and core of the program. I do wonder why the staggered change. Why not just say that on January 1, 2013 here is the Oath and Law and amend all requirement thus effected?

    • Good question, Bill. The timing is being driven by a broader review of the Cub Scout program as directed by the National Council Strategic Plan. Nothing is firm at this point but all recommendations are volunteer driven and after vetting will be implemented as “one” change with all affected materials available in May 2015 for the 2016 program year.

  20. I heard about this a couple of weeks ago and don’t really have a problem. As a former Den leader and current Cubmaster, I’ve never had a boy totally be able to recite the Law of The Pack by heart. I also have trouble with it.

    I wonder if we can start to implement the changes quicker than 2015?

  21. Vilma E. Matos Ortiz // October 17, 2012 at 1:54 pm // Reply

    This will force mayor changes to the Cubbing program…

  22. Bryan,
    There is nothing in this resolution you have posted getting rid of the Venturing Sign, any more than getting rid of the Cub Scout Sign. While I know that it was in the announcements prior to the vote, it doesnt appear to be in the final text of the resolution.

    • Welcome to the world of BSA resolutions and press releases. They are generally vague and relatively unhelpful and only get specific when they are unofficial.

      That change will probably be officially put into writing when they update the handbooks.

  23. Jonathan Frantz // October 17, 2012 at 2:05 pm // Reply

    My only concern is this: I’ve had many boys come through my Pack for whom the word “obedient” is a red flag, but for whom “The Cub Scout follows Akela” really worked. Without that phrase, “maintaining the concept of “Akela” as leader” seems complete bereft of context and turned into a thinly-veiled “Do what you’re told.” This is less like building character, and more like managing employees.

  24. As described, it seems the rationale for burdening Cubs with the Scout Oath and Scout Law is, “Hey, they have trouble learning what they have now, so why not replace it with something else that’s hard to learn?” I hope we didn’t pay those experts.

  25. As a cubmaster, I do not like this resolution. The traditions of the cub scouts are important. It is difficult enough to get Webelos to learn the scout law, much less Tigers. At that age, they do not even understand what the words mean, much less be able to memorize them. It is just another example of the Cub Scouts program taking a backseat to the Boy Scouts program.

  26. I don’t know if this was really thought out. The current Cub Scout promise and Law of the Pack are tailored to younger boys. It is easier for them to understand, plants the seeds of the values of the oath and law, and sets the basis for expanding those learning through the Boy Scout Oath and Law later on. These values are better instilled in the boys when they have to relearn them, in a different way, when they transition from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. When they do this at an older age, they are more mature to understand their meaning. In addtion, the Cub Scout Promise and Law of the Pack are exposing the boys to the same values as the Boy Scout Oath and Scout Law.

    • Faun Guarino // October 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm // Reply

      I absolutely agree. Yet again, it’s the little guys who don’t seem to matter. There are too many Scouters out there who seem to believe that nothing “counts” until you are a boy scout. They view cubs as biding their time until they become a REAL scout. Cub Scouting is its own program, with its own traditions and accomplishments.

      • I think that once this change is implemented, it will be embraced by most people. Nothing stands still and replacing the Promise with the Oath is very similar. The Law of the Pack is very difficult for anyone to learn. Making a better transition to Boy Scouting is not a horrible idea.

        Let’s remember that Scouting is for the boys, not tradition. Boys want to have fun, and if the program is done right, will learn things without even knowing they are learning them. If the boys are getting bored, look in the mirror and make your program the best it can be and age specific. As an example, I let our Webelos II’s do a lot as a Den so they really stay interested and stay excited for the transition to Boy Scouts. The meeting plans are just a guide to get you going.

        There are plenty of things to get worked up over, but this is not one of them. It’s a small blip.

        • Scouter Jim // October 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm //

          I help with Trainig in our Council and what you are doing is what all should be doing just take the trainning and you will see if not then take it. But that being said the program is changing also not sure where and how but it has been in the mill for a few years mark my words this is not the end of change be it good or bad for your situation.

        • Rob, I agree that Scouting is for the boys. Unfortunately, there are many adults who will embrace this because it makes it easier for them (see some comments here). I don’t believe that this will help instill the values of the Oath and Law into the younger scouts. We’ve all learned something when we were young and weren’t mature enough to understand it until we looked at it another way when we were older. This takes away one opportunity of relooking and evaluating as a Boy Scout what was learned as a Cub.

        • Faun Guarino // October 17, 2012 at 4:05 pm //

          My dens did not have this great difficulty in learning the promise and law of the pack because we first taught them the meaning of the words. We discussed it with them — asked what they thought certain words or phrases meant. And we made sure they understood the action of those meanings in our activities — when they played games they were expected to give goodwill by cheering each other on, waiting their turn, not cheating.

          Program IS paramount. But traditions ARE important — to the boys as well as to the organization. Ask anyone in a family of Eagle Scouts or the OA.

  27. Faun Guarino // October 17, 2012 at 2:34 pm // Reply

    So BSA insists that Cub Scouts is its own separate program. Really? Then why can’t we keep our own promise and law of the pack?

    Years ago we were not allowed to let Webelos cook, especially not foil packs on a campout. The reason cited was that it’s too similar to the boy scout program — they’ll just get bored when they transition. So you’re making more elements the same? The Webelos already wear the Boy Scout uniform – how different and exciting will it be to bridge?

    I absolutely agree that we should replace the ridiculous core values with the 12 points of the scout law. These should have been used when core values were first introduced. Instead, yet another task force redefined the scout law to create more words to learn. Now pack nights using those original meeting plans have the danger of becoming just like school – or even worse, boring. While the introduction of “alternate meeting plans” should help, this entire focus wrecks havoc on the Roundtable supplemental training program. Instead of exciting games, songs, stunts, crafts and service projects to match a theme, we get to teach all those components that were pulled out of cub leader basic training. thanks

  28. Charles Featherer // October 17, 2012 at 2:37 pm // Reply

    Next week, National will be voting to combine the rest of the program. Says Timmy Malone, a 6 year-old from Baton Rouge, “I can’t wait. By my calculations, I can be an Eagle now before I turn 9 and a half!”

  29. Not sure what to think about these changes. I guess that they did not want to have duplication of services for Cubs, Boy Scouts, Venturing, and Sea Scouts Varsity Scouts. Now here is the acid test can one service handle the request from all areas of Scouting? Time will tell. I have heard of other changes that are coming not sure I like them either but they are coming anyway. As an Advisor the youth that I am in contact with do not like the changes not sure how they will handle them and yes they are aware of the changes to the letter. They will still have fun and adventure in their scouting events but they do not like change. I guess that soon they will all be Boy Scouts from the age of 6-20 and all other programs will loose their meaning and place in Scouting. What is next The OA or something else close to the scouting program as we saw it 24 hours ago.

  30. 50 people were allowed to kill Cub Scouting, how does that make you feel?

    • How does this kill Cub Scouting?

  31. Incidentally, did anyone else notice that the Cubs in the photo aren’t saluting correctly? (one worse than the other)

    • No, they appear to me to be saluting correctly.

      • I think he’s referring to #4.

        1. SALUTE WITH YOUR RIGHT HAND.
        2. HOLD YOUR FINGERS AS YOU DO FOR THE CUB SCOUT SIGN.
        3. KEEP THE TWO STRAIGHT FINGERS CLOSE TOGETHER.
        4. TOUCH THE TIPS OF THOSE FINGERS TO YOUR CAP.
        5. IF YOU ARE NOT WEARING A CAP, TOUCH YOUR EYEBROW.

  32. Why postpone the changes? A Tiger joining this year will have to relearn at the end at Bear year. The Tiger joining in 2014 will have to learn the following year.

  33. Michael Ohleger // October 17, 2012 at 3:01 pm // Reply

    It will be a real challenge to get the tigers and wolf cubs to memorize the Scout Oath and Law. I don’t believe this idea was given enough thought. A focus group is not the way to change policies. This is a bad idea that will eventually affect the membership.

    • Michael, there is nothing in the Bobcat requirements that states that the Cub memorize the Oath and Law. The requirements say, “Learn and say” using “Do Your Best” as the criteria (from the Cub Scout Leader Book).

  34. As a pack and den leader, I submitted my input months ago against this. Cub scouts are not Boy scouts. It feels like the BSA has lost its way lately. Why push these young boys into the Boy scouts so early, when will belt loops go away and merit badges appear. :-(

  35. Well, Like I posted on the Southern Region Venturing facebook, I no longer have any reason to find a good Venturing Crew, because they are going to turn into Boy Scout Troops by the time I turn 19….

    Who on earth had the great idea to go and destroy what was a perfectly good program that only needed some properly trained adults (not cubmasters or scoutmasters, or crewmasters!) and youth who wanted to do it themselves?

    If you need me I’ll be in the OA and I guess teaching “Venturers” Boy Scout Merit badges when they change the awards because Eagle and Silver are too similar…

    • They haven’t changed any requirements in Venturing, so you should be able to find a Crew to join that is unlike a Boy Scout Troop. Sure, there will be some Crews that are pretty similar to Troops, but they already exist. The thing with Venturing is that there are Crews out there with all sorts of different specialities.

      And why wait until you turn 18? Find a crew that you fit with now. If you’re already first class, you can earn your Eagle through a Venture Crew. Or maybe start your own Crew with an OA focus, since that is something you seem quite interested in.

  36. Rob, I agree that Scouting is for the boys. Unfortunately, there are many adults who will embrace this because it makes it easier for them (see some comments here). I don’t believe that this will help instill the values of the Oath and Law into the younger scouts. We’ve all learned something when we were young and weren’t mature enough to understand it until we looked at it another way when we were older. This takes away one opportunity of relooking and evaluating as a Boy Scout what was learned as a Cub.

    • Bill Fleming, Jr. // October 17, 2012 at 3:13 pm // Reply

      No matter what oath and law is put out there, none of them hold water unless observed and lived by the leaders within a program. I think it is a good thing to bring it all under one for at a core level we are all part of the same program with the same goals.

    • Maybe, but so what? I was in Cub Scouts many years ago and didn’t remember anything about what we recited or did. Cub Scouts is about having fun and learning skills. Webelos and new Boy Scouts should already be explaining to their leaders the meaning of the Oath and Law – there is the reevaluation.

      • As a Cub and Boy Scout when it came time to bring my three in to Scouting I could repeat all of that sorry it didnot stick with you but I run the twelve daily don’t you and all the rest of the scouts and scouters.

      • You might not remember what you recited or did, but per your earlier quote, boys “will learn things without even knowing they are learning them.” That’s the so what. Webelos and new boys are explaining the meaning now. Currently that is the reevalution. That won’t be the case with the change.

        • Why wouldn’t there be a reevaluation at Webelos like there is now?

    • Faun Guarino // October 17, 2012 at 4:08 pm // Reply

      that’s always been the beauty of “age-appropriate” in Scouting — introducing concepts and activities to the boys in ways that their age and stage can understand, then re-introducing, expanding and advancing as they get older, develop gross and fine motor skills (I work with Cubs folks), better communication skills, better conceptual skills…

  37. John Bellemare // October 17, 2012 at 3:24 pm // Reply

    Forget the why, my problem is the when. why should I keep teaching the law of the pack when I know it will go away and they will have to learn he Scout oath and law.
    If you have made your mid up then start today.

  38. I think this is a great idea. Wish I had thought of it. I also wish it was implemented right away. Putting it off this way just gives the naysayers more time to gripe about it. Of course they will anyway.

    YIS/YIV

    • Been is Scouting for 51 years seen alot of changes did not agree with any of them but went forward and now change again. If you look back at all the changes in Scouting over the past 100 years many of the changes were changed back becaues they did not work or the number of Scouts went down in part due to the changes. Now be a nay sayer or not history repeats itself and the changes are still coming just read between the lines and in a few years they will change back just watch and see and do not buy the uniform yet they are changing also. Youth get tired of change and will go on to something else that has easier/less changes and more differances so they can be different is that not the reason we are who we are. Think about it!!!!!!!!!

      • The definition of “youth” is change. Not much time for them to notice, it’s only the old goats (like you and me) that notice. If it changes back, I’m OK with that too, hope I’m still here to see it.

  39. Craig Trygstad // October 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm // Reply

    The thing I like about the BSA program is that it builds upon itself. Similar requirements occur at the Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, and even Scout level; only to more depth and breadth each year. Belt Loops eventually build up to Merit Badges, for example. This is the philosophy of the Cub Scout Promise; it is a more age-appropriate version of the Boy Scout Oath.

    Also, I see the Cub Scout sign, handshake and salute will be kept. This makes no sense since the two fingers represent the two parts of the Cub Scout Promise, just as 3 fingers represent the 3 parts of the Boy Scout Oath.

    I was involved with Camp Fire Boys and Girls (now Camp Fire USA I believe) and their national organization was guilty of making changes for change sake which crippled their program (for example in my region, Northern California, there is no fully-functional Councils in existance anymore). I think BSA has in the past kept massive changes minimal; they should continue this philosophy and halt this massive change.

  40. I never liked the Cub Scout versions anyway. The boys never got the whole Akela thing, nor did the adults. I like the change.

    • Teach it to them on their level of education be them cubs or adults be a leader not a follower.

    • Brian M. Adams // October 17, 2012 at 9:12 pm // Reply

      If the boy are not getting “the whole Akela thing” then you have to step back and ask yourself if you are teaching them where Akela comes from and why the are called Cub Scouts. In other words, teach them “The Jungle Book” and they will get it. All of mine always did.

  41. I don’t think this change will affect me or my scouting. The cub program change is not going to take effect until 2015. My son will be a boy scout by then. I do appreciate the comment above which reminds us that cubs are not required to memorize the cub scout promise or law of the pack. The requirement states: learn and say. It does not specify memorization.

  42. Tom Hartmann // October 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm // Reply

    Lets not forget this resolution was pushed by volunteers from across the country and adopted by the Executive Board, also a group of volunteers.

    Many people are resistant to change. Remember when the forward pass was illegal in football? When seatbelts weren’t even in cars? Change happens. While this change may present some obstacles, perhaps the naysayers can find some positives, too. The Scout Law should begin at the earliest possible age. I see elementary schools adopting much of the same language in their programs, classrooms, and multi-use rooms. A 7-year can begin to understand concepts like respect, friendliness, honesty, obedient, and then’ll understand others as they get older.

    • Those are examples of changes that stuck. Sometimes things change back or don’t catch on. That’s happened in Scouting before.

      The BSA will always try to tweak things. There will always be grumbling about the changes. Some changes will stick and everyone will get used to them and some changes will get changed back.

  43. We will be sad to see the Oath go. We said it in our crew meetings and at our district VOA because we just plain liked it. As my daughter wrote in one of her college essays about Venturing and her trip to Philmont, “when you join an organization in which you promise ‘to strengthen America…and to seek truth, fairness, and adventure in our world,’ you feel like a superhero.”

    From my experience and their feedback, the teenage girls in my crew want to camp, hike, backpack, sail, SCUBA, climb, etc., but they do not want to be Boy Scouts. They want to be Venturers, which I think when you are talking about a group of 14-18 year old girls, is fair.

  44. Rick Stammel // October 17, 2012 at 4:08 pm // Reply

    I think this makes a lot of sense and I believe it is the right move for our Scouts. As a past Cubmaster and a current Scoutmaster and Crew Advisor, I appreciate the effort and consideration that went into this decision. Although they are separate programs I think this will help bring continuity and consistency to the Scouting program. Well done!

  45. Anyone else notice that it seems the old timers are against it and the new timers think it’s okay? Kinda feels like the presidential campaign. :)

    Some of you are being VERY un-Scouter like. Have you forgotten Scout Law #8? Go ahead, we’ll wait for you to count down to that one.

    And gripping is pointless. It’s going to happen. So why not figure out how to embrace it instead of being a whiner. If you love the Cub Character Connections (like I do), try keeping a POSITIVE ATTITUDE.

    • {Scout Law #8 is Cheerful for those of you that don’t want to work it out}

      The change is going to happen but the griping is not pointless (except for the non-constructive griping). Throughout the process the BSA has been asking for feedback and people should not stop sharing their opinions if they are not happy with the changes. They are looking into more possible tweaks within the programs. And the griping facilitates discussion that hopefully gives people ideas about how to naturally work the changes into the program.

  46. Reblogged this on Lewis and Clark District Committee.

  47. Hmm… I am not sure what to think yet about this. I can see advantages both ways. I like the language of the BS oath better than the Cub Scout Promise. I would like to know if the handbooks for cub scouts will be updated with the new language. Personally, I think some of the books need a serious overhaul to bring them up-to-date, but that is another issue.

  48. ” . . . if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it . . . ”

    The 411 task force apparently has determined that eliminating the Cub Scout and Venturing oath, promise, etc., in favor of the traditional Boy Scout program oath and law is in the best interests of the organization, and has made that recommendation to the National Executive Board which has in turn made a determination and enacted such changes to take effect within the next year or so.

    While it is reported that this action was made on the basis of a 411 task force committee of 50, in association with a Venturing Task force committee of about 25, not many Venturers and Advisors that I am aware of had much of a chance to have input on this process and it was rather rapidly developed without any prior announcement until just a short time ago [August 2012] which seems to be very little time to solicit input from a broad spectrum of the youth and adult membership. Focus groups rarely provide a statistically valid sampling of the opinions and ideas of the larger compendium of the overall membership in my experience.

    Not much has been heard from the Venturing side of the discussion. As a former Explorer, an Explorer Advisor and more recently a Venturing Advisor and Sea Scout Ship Skipper, I do not share or support the opinion of those who made that determination. Baden Powell recognized the need for an older youth program very early in his organization of Scouting by encouraging the start of Sea Scouts which is the second oldest program of the BSA celebrating their 100th anniversary this year. The Sea Scout program interestingly will NOT be included in that recommendation, and will keep their traditional Sea Promise, nor will there be any similar impact on the Order of the Arrow, so it is curious as to why Venturing should be so affected. Homogenizing elements of youth programs in terms of their formerly unique identities seems to be of questionable value or impact.

    The Venturing Code and Oath largely express the same values as the Scout Oath and Law, just as do the Cub Scout Promise, and each is age appropriate. It is curious that these traditional trademarks of the respective programs have existed for many decades, and yet are just now being brought under scrutiny and apparently will be eliminated for reasons which in my opinion are not well supported or justified.
    he old adage ” . . . if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it . . . ” may be appropriate.

    • The 411 and Venturing Task Force have been collecting opinions and ideas for well over a year. It does seem that it was kept pretty quiet, although I’ve been telling people to email them with their ideas for quite a while now.

      Sea Scouting is included in the recommendation because it is a subprogram of Venturing. The Sea Promise was explicitly stated to not be under consideration by the group.

      The OA is simply a subgroup within Boy Scouting, so it is affected in the same way that Boy Scouting is (not at all in this case).

      Venturing was only founded in 1998 so “existed for many decades” is a bit much.

      • Brian may not be aware of the history of of Venturing which evolved directly from outdoor high adventure Exploring which does in fact go back for many decades, thus supporting my comment, and is not [as Brian suggests] “a bit much” at all. Here is a synopsis of that history:

        The City of Chicago government was sued in the mid-1990’s for sponsoring an Explorer post which had discriminatory membership requirements relating to belief in a supreme being, etc. Consequently any program sponsored by any government or corporate organization that was barred from discrimination would no longer be able to sponsor Explorer Posts.

        BSA had to react and provide a venue from which to operate these highly popular career interest Exploring posts, so they transferred them to the BSA wholly owned subsidiary corporation Learning for Life where there were no membership restrictions and thus was compatible to continue the career interest Exploring programs without litigation.

        By coincidence, the largest group of high adventure outdoor Exploring youth programs was being concurrently evaluated by a national task force to enhance and expand that element of Exploring and was already in the process of rolling out elements of that program, but not until much later.

        The Chicago decision compelled the task force to ramp up the release of the of program to 1998, and unfortunately also required changing the program name since Exploring was kept by the LFL career explorer posts.

        So based on other international young adult programs using the term “Venturers” for similar teen age youth, Venturing was chosen to replace traditional Exploring, and new logos and program designs were created. A new Venturing Division replaced the Exploring Division. The old Explorer Silver Award was restored with a new design, and other awards such as Ranger were added. The forest green Explorer uniform shirts were retained with an addition of the gray cargo trousers or shorts.

        Thus the evolution of Today’s Venturing.program from outdoor high adventure Exploring.

        I should note that I was an Explorer in the 1950’s and an Advisor thereafter until Venturing and Sea Scouting were created and then became an advisor and a skipper for both of those programs, and have experienced them at a local, regional and national level.

        • “Brian may not be aware of the history of of Venturing which evolved directly from outdoor high adventure Exploring which does in fact go back for many decades, thus supporting my comment, and is not [as Brian suggests] “a bit much” at all.”

          I am very much aware of the history of Exploring and the LFL break-off and creation on Venturing. However, I still stand by my remarks. You stated that removing the Venturing Oath and Code was removing something that has “existed for many decades”. The Venturing Oath and Code did not exist until 1998. Your statement would be correct if the Venturing Oath and Code were directly taken from the Exploring Oath and Code, which I do not believe to be the case.

          tldr; high-adventure in BSA has existed for decades, but Venturing itself has only existed since 1998 not decades as well.

        • Brian, I am looking at a copy of the 1977 Exploring Reference Book. In that Document the Exploring Code is listed, as follows:

          ” As an Explorer–
          I believe that America’s Strength lies in her trust in God and in the courage and strength of her people.
          I will therefore be faithful in my religious duties and will maintain a personal sense of honor in my own life.
          I will treasure my American Heritage and will do all I can to preserve and enrich it.
          I will recognize the dignity and worth of my fellowmen and will use fair play and goodwill in dealing with them.
          i will acquire the Exploring attitude that seeks the truth in all things and adventure on the frontiers of our Changing World.”

          The Current Venturing Code is as follows::

          “As a Venturer, I believe that America’s strength lies in our trust in God and in the courage, strength, and traditions of our people. I will, therefore, be faithful in my religious duties and will maintain a personal sense of honor in my own life. I will treasure my American heritage and will do all I can to preserve and enrich it. I will recognize the dignity and worth of all humanity and will use fair play and goodwill in my daily life.; I will acquire the Venturing attitude that seeks truth in all things and adventure on the frontiers of our changing world”

          So i think you can see that the Exploring Code and the Venturing Code are virtually
          identical with just a few small changes in phraseology thus supporting my contention that the code does in fact go back for many decades.

          I think this is getting a little petty, so why don’t we try to stay with the big picture in discussions. .of what the future may hold for young adult programs.

  49. Great news and a great move. The one tradition we need to get rid of is the traditional loss of youth “crossing over” from Cub to Boy Scouts which varies, but I recall an average loss of 40% and higher. One program, Scouting, with age-appropriate activities and units removes the “crossing over” barrier making Boy Scouts simply the next step on the path of Scouting. It works in the UK and other countries around the world. It’s about time the USA joined in!

    • You have completely ignored two programs within the BSA. There is Exploring, part of Learning for Life, and Venturing, part of Scouting.

      Venturing and Boy Scouting (or more specifically Venture Scouting) cover boys of the same age. Mushing everything together into a single program would eliminate one of these two programs.

      The loss of youth during the crossover is because those individuals do not wish to continue in Scouting and that transition point is an easy point to step out. If that transition point is eliminated, those individuals would still drop out, just not all at the same time. They key is to make them interesting in staying in Scouting and changing how things are labeled wouldn’t help that.

    • If this means that girls and gays are equally accepted in all programs, I can get on board. If that’s not a part of the end game, I don’t think this change is fixing anything.

  50. David Salser // October 17, 2012 at 5:24 pm // Reply

    I think this was a bad decision that this group made.

  51. Time to add girls into Cub Scouts. With a sweeping change like this, now is the time. I have several in my Den that would put on a uniform tomorrow.

    • I’m with you, John! The UK added girls to the program, subject to individual unit interest, and Girl Guides (their Girl Scouts) did not decline as a result. Both programs are doing well.

      My girls dropped out of Scouts after Brownies (very common) because GS wasn’t “fun anymore.” They both love camping, sports and outdoor activities and would have been Venture Scouts except that they lost interest in the program for so long.

      It works around the world, it could work in the USA.

      • … and isn’t the UK having difficulties with there program more soe that the BSA?

      • Take a look at American Heritage Girls http://www.ahgonline.org. We have many of the same program opportunities that Boy Scouts does including the outdoors activities. We actually have a memoradum of mutual support with BSA to bring a quality program to the girls so that they would enjoy getting involved in similar activities to what the boys are doing!

        • I can’t agree with the Christian based part of heritage girls, BSA is at least open to all religions. Being Jewish, I’m offended that my daughter would be held out of the program. She has been in Girl Scouts for years now and has already earned her Bronze and Silver awards, only the Gold award left.

        • Actually AHG is open to ALL girls of all faiths, socioeconomic backgrounds and all races. There is no requirement that a girl must be a Christian to participate. I’m sorry that you have been misinformed on that detail. Granted it is still a Christ-centered program, but the girls do not have to share that faith to be a member.

        • I can’t imagine why a nice Jewish girl wouldn’t want to join a Christ -centered program like AHG. Sounds like they are not welcome to me.

        • Scouter Jim // October 18, 2012 at 10:44 am //

          VERY VERY VERY Wrong Some of my closest friend are Eagle Scouts and are Jewish. Most of them are still very active in Scouting in different Troops in our Council.

        • I’m not sure why it “sounds like they are not welcome to me”… when I clearly stated, “there is no requirement that a girl must be a Christian….girls do not have to share that faith..” Girls of all faiths ARE welcome. If someone of Jewish background, or B’ah’ai, or moslem, or hindu, atheist or any other belief system desires to, they CAN be a part of American Heritage Girls.

          In BSA, each troop is owned by their charter organization. That charter organization has the privilege to direct the “flavor” of the troop: by specifying the nature of their program even to the details of the chapel service presentation (mass vs, protestant service; litergy, worship styles, etc…) But that doesn’t mean that a boy of a faith differing from that charter can not participate in that troop. In fact, the troop that my son was in for years, is chartered by Church of Christ and had some of that “flavor”. However, we had two Jewish families who were involved (dads were ASMs, one of the boys became the SPL, etc…) The charter organization is the one who dictates the openness of the troop. From faith to schooling choices, etc… Not the National Organization.

          It is the same in AHG – all girls are welcome in the design of the National Organization! Our goal is to raise women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country.

          Whether someone of a different faith chooses to be a part of a Christ-centered program is an entirely different matter. But the idea that girls of other faiths are not welcome is simply not true.

        • It is because of the inherent conflict of these two statements:
          “there is no requirement that a girl must be a Christian”
          “Our goal is to raise women of integrity through service to God”

          All of your examples feature the BSA, which has a much subdued religious subtext compared to the AHG.

          “Whether someone of a different faith chooses to be a part of a Christ-centered program is an entirely different matter.”

          Consider this: ‘Whether someone of a different faith chooses to be a part of a Vishnu-centered program is an entirely different matter.’

        • Brian, I couldn’t reply to your other comment:”‘Whether someone of a different faith chooses to be a part of a Vishnu-centered program is an entirely different matter.'” I agree. I guess it comes down to what I’m trying to say is a matter of word choice. all faiths are WELCOME…whether or not they join us is their CHOICE, but someone of another faith not becoming part of AHG is not because of AHG’s rules, it is because of personal choice.

          Not everyone will wish to be a part of a Christ centered program – that is true, but to say that they aren’t welcome is not true. All are welcome whether or not they come.

          Hope that makes sense!

        • I won’t say that the AHG doesn’t welcome everyone. I will say that they are inviting people into something that people may not find welcoming, which is indeed because of personal choice. My belief is that every religious group/organization has the subtext that other religions are incorrect. In the best case, it is subdued and not made an active part, but it cannot be completely eliminated.

          The AHG is very open that it is some christian denomination. And the subtext of that open declaration will inherently breed some degree of unwelcomeness to people that are not that christian denomination. In my opinion, there will always be some degree of unwelcomeness in every religiously affiliated group. But the degree of unwelcomeness and how it affects members can greatly vary.

        • Our Eagle Scout son and our granddaughter Jamie have started AHG. He saw their info booth at the 2010 Jamboree. I’ve been reminding him that when Jamie starts high school, he becomes a Venturing Crew Advisor.

        • That is AWESOME!!! My Eagle Scout has definitely helped teach the basics when the girls first started in AHG. I’m trying to get my highschooling AHGer (Patriot) to spearhead starting an AHG Venturing Crew in the North Texas Area. So they can better participate in the high adventure opportunites that exist.

      • Hmmmm the Euro was formed by European nations and it worked for them, why didn’t the UK join it? The UK drives on the other side of the road, should we also switch? We were also GS Troop leaders that kept an outdoorsy themed Troop until we could no longer do it, where our daughters went to a GS troop with”fun” activities, camping, fishing, etc. The BSA can’t be the repository for the failings of other programs. The Awanas are a co-ed “scout like” program…..maybe there is your answer rather than radically changing a program that has worked for 100+ years in the US.

      • Quick correction: You mean Venturers and not Venture Scouts. Venturing is a Scouting program within the BSA. Venture Scouting is a subprogram within Boy Scouting which is a Scouting program within the BSA.

      • In the UK, the Girl Guides and the Boy Scouts have always been two parts of the same program – not so here. Given the 100 years of history which each organization has, and the fundamental differences in structure and program which have developed in the past century, I think it unlikely – and in fact, virtually impossible – that the two programs could ever be combined into one.

        • They’re not part of the same program, they are two separate organizations.

    • Agree 100%. I have a child in each program. In my daughter’s Crew, the young ladies outnumber the gents by 70%.

      • John Bonvillian // October 18, 2012 at 7:50 am // Reply

        change is inevitable! Oh and there is no s in Awana.

      • Now that explanation sounds confusing!

    • That is a bad idea. In Venture Crew, leadership positions typically are all taken by the girls because girls mature faster than boys. I do not want to see that happening in Boy Scout or Cub Scout.

      • Thing about Venturing, on a sample of one, is that boys who’ve been Scouts were Eagles or Life working on Eagle, and already had the POR requirement covered. They didn’t need to do it. As always, YMMV

    • BSA= Boy Scouts of America……add girls to a Boys Program? Really? I would be curiouos who, commenting on this suggestions was a Cub, Boy Scout, adolescent leader and/or Scouter (Paid or Volunteer) and thier years of membership and/or service.

      • WOw, apologies on the lack of spell check….my bad…

      • The BSA already has Venturing and Exploring which both allow female youth participants. Are you suggesting that the BSA drop these programs?

        And actually, the fact that the national organization is called the Boy Scouts of America while Boy Scouting is only one of many programs within the BSA is one of the reasons I’m not a fan of calling it the BSA.

        • John D Hall // October 18, 2012 at 10:28 pm //

          Actually I was suggesting that people give their background in the program so we can tell who is a new player in the game or have invested many years to the program. Often newer participants come in like the “new idea fairy” of how tomchangenthe program that they JUST joined……

        • In regards to your idea to tell where people are coming from:
          Ex-Cub Scouting Summer Camp Staff, Ex-National High Adventure Base Staff, Ex-Boy Scouting Assistant Scoutmaster, Venturing Advisor, District Activities Committee, Council Camp Properties Committee

          My comment was referring to your initial sentence expressing disdain for allowing female youth in the BSA. The BSA has allowed female youth for decades. Are you okay with this fact or do you want to remove these two programs from the BSA?

      • I was a Cub Scout and then a Boy Scout. I’m an Eagle and Order of the Arrow, now the Advisor for a Venturing Crew. Active since 18 years as an adult leader. Also involved with Alpha Phi Omega (founded by Eagle Scouts) on a National level. I understand some of the objections to having girls join, but I don’t agree with many of them. If we want our boys and girls to be able to work together, early adolescence is the time to start preparing them. I would be happy to remove the B in BSA and just be Scouts of either gender.

        • Actually, most of us don’t care that it’s the BSA. We respect that it was a program for young men first, and when we try to explain Venturing to others the look of shock on there faces when you start with, “I’m basically a Boy Scout”, is rather amusing. People don’t understand when you try and explain the co-ed programs, but they know the BSA, so we fall on identifying with that.

      • Venturing is a great co-ed program, but I do agree that girls should be separate from the boys through the Cub and Boy Scout ages. giving them a chance to develop and grow with their own gender and without the pressure of competition, antagonism, and expectations from the other gender. But the name, is just a name. Girls have been able to join Explorer Posts since 1969.

      • My daughter and several other girls in our Den/Pack attend just about every single Cub Scout activity. They go to Fall Family Campout. The Spring Family Campout. The bike rodeo. Every single go-see-it. Some come to our Den meetings and watch. They do cars in the sibling bracket in Pinewood Derby. But they can’t put on a uniform? I’m taking my daughter to Camp Snyder Expo this weekend in Va so she can do some of the fun activities the boys did during camp – where mind you girls and women were at.

    • Baden Powell // October 18, 2012 at 8:04 pm // Reply

      Agreed. Or, just join Baden Powell Service Association, http://bpsa-us.org/, where there is no discrimination against anyone for any reason. And with a great focus on outdoor skills and community service.

  52. Will 1st grade Tiger Cubs have to recite the Scout Oath & Law to receive their Bobcat badge? That is going to be very frustrating for all levels of new Cub Scouts. How will the Bobcat requirements be altered?

    • No, look again at the 5th question, 5th bullet.

    • David Taylor // October 17, 2012 at 9:16 pm // Reply

      It will be very interesting to see how the Bobcat requirements will change as this change takes place. I am really curious since they have to be able to recite the current promise and law of the pack, but now they are saying they do not have to memorize the Law, but do the Oath. The Oath is more difficult.

      • for me, it’s not the difficulty in the words, it is the loss of the Akela portion of Cub Scouting. Cub Scouting is a FAMILY program – at least it is in my District and Council. I think there is value in the Cub Scout Promise and Law and do not see why having them the same is a benefit… just EASIER! I was brought up that the easy way is not always the best way!

  53. Michael Benedetto // October 17, 2012 at 5:57 pm // Reply

    I think this is a good change. There’s no reason the Cubs can’t learn the Oath and Law

  54. Oh come on, curmudgeons, it’s a good move not a slippery slope. Cubs that move into Boy Scouts have to learn the new oath anyway, and any time you have both groups together, it’s inevitable that there will be that awkward, “oh no, which one do I say!” moment for cubs leaders & parents.

    Remember, the cub scout motto is “do your best”. Our young boys will trip over it, but that’s fine. They’ll get the hang of it and it gives you time to slow down and teach the meaning of each tenet. Great move, wish it went into effect before 2015.

    • Thank You CubMaster Phil-well said!

    • Tammy Campbell // October 17, 2012 at 7:52 pm // Reply

      Venturers enjoyed the bit of difference. Now they want to make us all the same…our group will continue as is. We will not embrace this travesty.

      • Sorry Tammy, it doesn’t work that way. You want to part of a hierarchical organization – like the Scouts – you either get with the program or hit the road.

    • Cubs Moving into Boy Scouts are the oldest boys in the Pack. My concern is with the youngest. I don’t believe this is a good move for them, and as a mother of a Cub and having served as a Tiger, Wolf and Bear den leader I know that the comprehension level of these boys isn’t ready for the Scout Law. Plus, as the article clearly states, they aren’t Boy Scouts, they are Cubs, so they should still have their own Promise and Law to take ownership of.

    • I agree with the changes to the Cub Scouts. However, I disagree with the changes to the Venturing side of things. I know our Crew will not embrace the changes as it is not in their best interest.

  55. I agree with several of the positive comments. I believe this aligns the programs more closely to the values and mission of the BSA and Scouting in general. As much as society is trying to tear the programs down, I believe this will strengthen the programs, provide continuity throughout the continuum, and deliver a compeling message regarding the vision, values, and mission of the BSA.

  56. My questions concern Venturing…

    1. Will the Venturing program be completely dismantled, now that the Oath & Code are being abolished?

    2. Will young ladies be banned from BSA Scouting?

    3. Who were the volunteers who were asked their opinions? I was never asked for mine.

    I have deep concerns here. The Venturing program has never seemed to have any support (other than lip service) from the National level. Even closer to home, my own council doesn’t even want to acknowledge that Venturing exists. This, I fear, will be the final nails in the coffin…

    • Jim, thanks for putting your questions out there. Here’s the deal:

      1. No!
      2. No!
      3. National Venturing Task Force includes experienced Venturing leaders and youth. Many of the task force were involved in the creation of the program.

      The Task Force is seriously considering actions that can be taken to address your final comment. Too early to say what the outcome will be but your comments are heard.

    • “3. Who were the volunteers who were asked their opinions? I was never asked for mine.”

      Good question. No one knows. No one in the on-line Venturing community knows who was on this committee. Why the secrecy?

      How where they picked? Did they get people who were very knowledgeable about Venturing?

      How diverse was the group? People from a wide range of crew types, different gender, ethnic background. I heard there were NO adult female leaders involved.

      • I did get a survey a while ago about this. I did not support the change… for what it was worth

    • 3 – Theoretically, all Venturers were asked for their opinions. When I first heard about the Venturing Task Force over a year ago, it was from an email that started at the Area level, was sent down to the Council level, and was then sent to all of the unit leaders. It seems that this communication did not goes as smoothly elsewhere.

      • Didn’t happen in our Area, Council, or Crews/Ships.

  57. Being an Eagle scout, I fully support this decision. I already teach the kids in my pack the scout oath and in particular the scout law.

    they after all, are words to live by!

  58. Cubmaster Mark // October 17, 2012 at 7:41 pm // Reply

    I disagree with this move. Cubs and Boy Scout programs ARE different, yet similar in goals. But age appropriateness is the concern. The Cub Promise is a cut down version of the Scout Oath. Easier for the 1st graders to comprehend it’s meaning. The Boy Scout Oath enlarges the meaning and is appropriate for boys who are entering into an age of maturity. And have better knowledge to understand it’s full meanings.
    Now if you want to rewrite the Law of the Pack, keep in mind that one purpose of it is to keep kids focused on following leaders and how it will help them and help each other to develop and grow. Very important for prepubescent minds that tend to wander off course quite easily.
    But one oath and law for all, is a mistake.

    • agree. Cubs just memorize them and don’t care what they mean to them. whatever!!!

    • One of the Methods of Scouting is adult association. Adults must help the Cub Scouts understand the current Cub Scout Promise. Those same adults will be able to help the Cub Scouts to understand the Oath and Law that will be used across all traditional Scouting programs. Cub Scouts have the ability to understand the Oath and Law.

      • Bing! You’ve got it Steve!! Research done on this subject indicates that NEITHER the Cub Scout Promise nor the Scout Oath are developmentally suited for Cub Scouts WITHOUT ADULTS GUIDING THEM TO FULL UNDERSTANDING. Same applies to the Scout Oath for Boy Scouts.

        • But that is the WHOLE point of the Law and Promise! “The Cub Scout follows AKELA”. “Obey the Law of the Pack”. Do we loose this connection? My boys understand what this means. There is no issue with it because they have been taught by their Akela’s. I’m not saying they could not learn the Boy Scout Law and Oath. That is not my issue. I am concerned with the loss of meaning to the Cubs.

        • “The Cub Scout follows AKELA” – This falls under “A Scout is Obedient” and can easily be expanded on during discussions of what obedient means, as in they listen to the pack and follow Akela.

          “Obey the Law of the Pack” – This falls under “A Scout is Loyal”, they would indeed obey the law of the pack if they are loyal.

          IMO, It’s really all in how it is explained and initially learned.

        • I agree. I’ve got no issue with the change personally and think it’s a good thing. Will cub scouts simply memorize it the best they can? Sure.. It may be that… But that is the case in younger boy scouts, too. Without proper adult guidance and discussion on it, they simply will not grasp it.

          My thought for helping to learn the Boy Scout Law is to print it out on a single sheet of paper, nice and large, one word per sheet and then flip through them like flash cards as you recite the law. [ Think Bob Dylan - Subterranean Homesick Blues ]

          Once they get a handle on reciting it, then you can dig further. Pick one word a meeting and set it to the side, on the back of that paper have the meaning down and explain it. Then discuss it.

          Make sure to keep it short. Anything past 5 minutes and you will lose mental engagement.

          But at any rate, guidance is always the key. This comes in as both the den leaders as well as the parents.

  59. Tammy Campbell // October 17, 2012 at 7:45 pm // Reply

    That sucks! What happens to the stair stepping and individuality of the programs? I think this is a mistake!

  60. This is a great move. Children’s brains are like sponges, so there shouldn’t be any issue with them being able to learn the Oath and Law. Just remember the motto will still be “Do Your Best”.

  61. I have to wonder, given the recent publicity of Scouting not bowing to pressure on the issue of gays and lesbians being Scouts or serving as leaders, if this is simply a way to get the words “morally straight” into the other branches of Scouting through the back door. Changing the traditions of the Scouting movement for political cover would be unconscionable.

    • No relationship. This moves ties back to the mission of the Boy Scouts of America: “… by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.”

  62. Jo Poplawski // October 17, 2012 at 8:09 pm // Reply

    I don’t think many Venturing Crews will be happy with the changes and many will probably just ignore them. “A Scout is…”, “Scout Law”, etc. Our Crew members call themselves Venturers or Crew Members, they don’t refer to themselves as Scouts. Its a different program, though it doesn’t get the attention from the BSA and the local councils that it should.

    • Agree with that point, and can lead to nonsense like Venturers calling themselves “Venture Scouts”, “Venturing Scouts” and the like.

      • Organizational information:

        Venture Scouting is a subprogram of Boy Scouting which is a Scouting program of the BSA.

        Venturing is a Scouting program of the BSA.

        Sea Scouting is a subprogram of Venturing which is a Scouting program of the BSA.

        Varsity Scouting is a subprogram of Boy Scouting which is a Scouting program of the BSA.

        Boy Scouting is a Scouting program of the BSA.

        Cub Scouting is a Scouting program of the BSA.

        Exploring is a Learning for Life program of the BSA.

        • A clarification based on comments elsewhere – Venture Scouting is not an official title or subgroup in the BSA. It is referring to the Venture Patrol, which is an option within Boy Scouting that has its own Guide to Safe Scouting classification, which means the Venture Patrol has access to activities not allowed to normal Boy Scouting patrols.

        • What? Where does it say that a Boy Scout in a Venture Patrol in a Boy Scout Troop can fire a pistol or go hunting?

      • Our crew refers to ourselves “venture scouts”. Were boyscouts, were part of the BSA program. We tie ourselves to every district and council event and even our girls refer themselves as boyscouts. We are happy with the change as most of our crew are eagle scouts and already know the scout oath and law.

    • Any Venturing Crew which – as you say – “chooses to ignore” the new regulations, clearly has poor leadership. In a hierarchical organization – such as Scouting – you either get with the program, or get gone.

  63. I love this change and fully support it. I wish it had occurred sooner, to be honest! I also want to add that I think it is time to add girls to scouting or to start a girl program within BSA. It is far too late for my daughter as she is now 20 but I am hoping that my elementary school aged granddaughters will one day be able to be in a BSA program.

    • Venturing is a program for 14 to 21 year old girls and boys, and that includes Sea Scouts, Explorer Posts, Varsity Teams, and Venturing Crews, so at least they have that to look forward to :)

      • Katie, just to clarify, Venturing does not include Explorers or Varsity. Explorers are part of the Learning for Life Program, a wholly owned subsidary of the BSA, but not part of the Venturing Program. Varsity, is part of the Boy Scout Program.

        Sea Scouts in some ways is part of Venturing, but if you ask many Sea Scouts they will claim to be more separate. But in many administrative ways with the BSA Sea Scouting is a part of Venturing.

    • Please look into American Heritage Girls. http://www.ahgonline.org We have a memorandum of mutual support with BSA. We are very similar to Boy Scouts and offer a program that does contain an emphasis on life skills, social development, outdoors, etc… We are the “flip side” of the BSA coin!

    • Because of an agreement with the Girls Scouts, this will unfortunately never happen. But Exploring and Venturing are two programs within the BSA that have coed membership.

      • Brian,
        I’m not sure that that agreement is valid anymore. And perhaps coed exactly won’t happen, but the change is coming. look at the stronger relationships with American Heritage Girls, inclusion of Venturing at the Jamboree, and the larger focus on making the differences between Venturing and Boy Scouts disappear. Its going to happen soon.

        • And in a lot of places AHG and BSA are working together on things: Camporees, using BSA camps for our AHG girls’ summer camp, etc.. It is growing!!!

        • That could be true. I have no idea what the BSA’s current relationship with the Girls Scouts is. While I see the inclusion on Venturing at the Jamboree (finally) as a step forwards, I personally see the relationship with the AHG and Venturing Boy Scouting focus as a step away from expanding coed membership. But I will be overjoyed if I am wrong about that and the change does finally arrive.

        • If the BSA makes the differences between Venturing and the Boy Scouts disappear, they will lose a lot of the youth that they gained. I believe that a majority of the youth that join Venturing do so precisely because it is *not* Boy Scouts, but a different program entirely that offers some of the same opportunities as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, but with a different focus, allowing each Crew to come up with it’s own style, flavor, uniform, by-laws, areas of interest.

          Turning Venturing into “Senior Boy Scouts with Girls” is bound to fail.

  64. As a cub master, I do but like this idea at all. It’s not broke. In one of the last questions what will the cubs have to look forward to? the response was the new uniform among other items. I don’t know where you get the uniform info from, but cubs are supposed to switch to the tan shirts upon moving into webelos. Same one the boy scouts use. another item says the younger boys won’t be required to learn the oath and law, so what exactly will they have? Seems they’ll be left out until they late in wolves. I say leave it alone.

    • Actually Webelos have the option of keeping the blue uniform, or going to the tan and green uniform. Been that way since August 1984.

      • but it’s not something they look forward to when crossing over to boy scouts. they can have it as Webelos. I still say bad decision all the way around.

  65. Bob Mitchell // October 17, 2012 at 8:18 pm // Reply

    I think this is a bad idea…but…I guess it really doesn’t matter what I think. I also am wondering what the requirements for the Scout rank will be changed to since most of them are focused around the Scout Oath and Law that they learn as a Webelo.

  66. Good change from a Venturing leaders perspective. Will we now be Venturing Scouts?

    • Venture Scouting is already a sub-program of Boy Scouting and is completely separate from Venturing.

      • Check you facts Venture scouts/patrol (within a troop not a stand alone unit) was out a year or two ago.

        • The National site does not appear to support this claim.

      • There is no such thing as “Venture Scouting”.

        If you mean the Venture patrol, its just part of Boy Scout troops and is NOT a sub program.

        • I am indeed referring to Venture patrols within Boy Scouting. While not an officially designated subprogram like Varsity Scouting or Sea Scouting, it does have a completely different set of rules within the Guide to Safe Scouting. It is more or less an semi-subprogram.

        • I’ve also found that referring to the Venture patrol program as a subprogram of Boy Scouting avoids much of the confusion that comes up in more accurate summary descriptions.

  67. As a female Venture Scout, my district VOA president, I have many concerns about this. So we’re clear, I do not approve of melding the Oaths/Laws/Codes. We are all Scouts, and we take pride in our differences in programs as much as our similarities. The Venturing Oath is not the same as the Boy Scout Oath because the programs have different goals. Overall, yes, we all aim to develop our characters and morals and abilities, but Venturing is primed more for leadership, independence, and high adventure, where I more often see Boy Scouting focusing on community/social growth, confidence. life preparedness, and growth in ethics. There is crossover, of course, but not enough to warrant this conversion.

    The signs are a point of pride for us Venture Scouts, they help us identify each other in the seas of Boy Scouts who, at least half the time, don’t even know we exist. We understand that we are supposed to mix with the rest of Scouting, but we can’t always. Venturing was created to be different than Boy Scouts, just like Explorer Posts, Sea Scouts, and Varsity Teams, so why try to pull us all back in?

    I do see the logic behind this decision, I really do. I just don’t think it was the right line of reasoning. I believe it would have been much better to keep them separate.

    But, hey, my handbook is now a collectors item!

    • I would like to remind that Venturing is a relatively new program and was formed, in my humble opinion, as a means of bolstering falling membership in Explorer Posts. I will go out on a limb and say that Explorer Posts should have stayed as was, with limited co-ed posts in particular fields and efforts made to reinforce that program.

      • Explorer Posts are still around! We have one that partners with the Civil Air Patrol in our VOA. Venturing has become the ‘umbrella’ that Explorer Posts, Seas Scouts, Varsity Teams, and the Venturing Crews themselves fall under. We’re 11 years as Venturing, but Sea Scouts and Explorers have been around much, much longer.
        Personally? I thank God, nearly every day for Venturing, because it’s true that Explorer Posts did not attract enough youth. I would not have been interested in an Explorer’s Post because the focus is too narrow, but my Venturing Crew feels more flexible.
        By having Venturing in general with it’s specified groups, we have been able to raise awareness and interest in Explorer Posts, we haven’t abandon them.

        • Katie.

          Explorer Posts are NOT a part of the BSA and do NOT fall under the umbrella of the Venturing Crews. Explorer Posts are a part of the “Learning For Life”, which is a separate entity owned by the BSA, but it does not use the fleur de lis or any of the other symbols of the BSA. Venturing includes Venturing Crews and Sea Scouts. Varsity Teams is an antiquated program that I believe is largely used by the LDS church Scouting units, but again, is not a part of Venturing.

      • Exploring was moved to LfL because of the Chicago law suit. Venturing replaced it in the traditional BSA side. It grew like wildfire at first, but has been plummeting recently.

    • Katie you are Venturing Scouts or youth not Venture scout that was at Troop level a Patrol and now is gone. What does you by-laws say you know that you can write your own and have your own uniform standards etc. (I hope you know)

      • There is no such thing at present as a Venturing Scout. The term is Venturers who are members of Venturing Crews. This may be changing as part of the re-branding, but as of yet has not been announced.

        • Scouter Jim // October 18, 2012 at 11:47 am //

          Jeff please send me a link with the proper lables for youth in Venturing according to BSA. and I will bbe glade to use that verbage.

        • Glad to help:
          http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Media/LOS/All.aspx#def-head-v

          In short:
          Troop->Crew
          Boy Scout/Scout->Venturer or Venturing Youth
          Scoutmaster -> Advisor (yes, a change in spelling from OA)

          The BSA explicitly says the term ‘Scout’ should not be used to include Cub Scouts, doesn’t actually mention Venturers, but that is largely inferred.

          Hope that helps!

          Jeff

        • I hadn’t known that the OA spelled it as adviser. I feel a bit more enlightened today.

        • However, I do disagree with the BSA’s definition of ‘Scout’ (although going by their definition makes things a lot easier). Because of the use of Scout in the context of the World Scouting Movement, and not being a BSA exclusive term, I don’t think you will ever have everyone using the BSA definition.

        • Jeff is correct. Take a look at the Venturing Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), which is the official publication from the National Venturing Youth Cabinet. http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/home/venturing/sop.aspx

    • I amof the understanding that all of this was put before the VOA at area region and national level that is what was passed on to me via our area VOA advisor. PS they said it was endorsed by all VOA officers at area and above.

      • Force of habit to include all the forms of Venturer, including both forms of Scouts. My apologies.
        Of course, I am aware of this, but this is bigger than by-laws. These are some of the things we don’t have power over and they are even requirements for our Gold award.
        I’m at district VOA, so my opinion is null for national. Though I plan on talking with our Area President about this, as we hadn’t even heard this was in motion before yesterday.

        • Scouter Jim // October 18, 2012 at 10:08 am //

          Good luck My youth in the Crew are all under the old book and requirements and they will finish all of their requirements by the old book and I still have one youth under the first Handbook and those requirements and she will soon be finished with them. This change has been in the wind for some time sorry you didnot hear about it untill now

      • Umm…no, they weren’t. They found out about this proposed change the way the rest of us did, when it was announced that it was going to be voted on. The only one asked to weigh in on it was the National President, thats only because he’s on the National board which voted on this.

        Note: The national board did not vote to get rid of the Venturing Sign, thats not in the resolution they voted on.

    • Katie- be advised you are NOT a “Venture Scout”.

      You are a Venturer.

      The term “Venture Scout” is incorrect within the BSA.

  68. Guy M. Bennett // October 17, 2012 at 8:35 pm // Reply

    In my opinion, this is a great change. The oaths/promise and laws were not enough different to justify the differences. They appear to have been forced by adherence to a youth development model of some sort. Does a cub scout live the law, for example, in the same way as a boy scout or venturer? Of course not, but the difference need not be in the wording. It is in the way one goes about daily life in conformity to the law. Older youth have more distractions to being trustworthy, for instance, and more challenges to being obedient, than do younger ones. Just recite the one law and live it at the level appropriate for your age group.

    Many in Seattle already know my opinion on the signs. The Venturing sign represents a misguided approach to create uniqueness and identity. Let the identity flow from what we do as Venturers, not from how we hold our fingers. The Venturing sign is also too close to the Nazi sign. The further we get away from the Hotlerjugend, the better. Three fingers are better than five in this case. All of these changes will also facilitate the flow of youth and their parents through age-appropriate programs, and of adults through facsimiles of those programs at Wood Badge. I, for one, am solidly on board.

    Guy M. Bennett, Chief Seattle Council Training Chair

    • Yes, the Venturing sign and salute are much too close to the oath taken in American courts, and by the millions of Americans who serve(d) in our military. We MUST do away with that.

    • Anyone who has ever experienced the Venturing, Sea Scouts and Exploring Programs would hardly agree with such a myopic interpretation of the program structure and rationale developed over many decades.. Uniqueness is one of the appeals of these young adult age-appropriate programs and the fact that they are highly successful and appealing to teens speaks for itself. Comparing the Venturing/Sea Scout salute or sign [which is the same as used by the US Military and the President of the USA in taking oaths of office] to Brown Shirts is over the top to say the least.. Venturers, Sea Scouts and Explorers are YOUNG ADULTS and that is the rationale for the full hand salute and for treating them as such.

  69. Having grown in scouting with my son through cubs and scouts, taken nearly every training offered, and now as a leader for our council’s Jamboree Venture Crew, I support this move. We just discussed this possibility at our Jamboree meeting last night. Yes, we haven’t done it that way before, but it is a very logical extension and will serve to unify the programs rather than promote division. In answer to Jim G., no I don’t think that you are going to see a dismantling of the Venture Program, but rather welcome more full and seamless support for the program.

    • The Venture Program and Venturing Program are 2 separate things.

      You are part of the Venturing Program, and are a leader of your council Jamboree Venturing Crew.

      The Venture program is the Venture Patrol, which is part of the Boy Scout Troop.

  70. Another topic that is reportedly being considered for future modification relates to the Venturing Recognition Awards of Bronze, Gold, Silver, Ranger. Trust, and Quest. It is not known if the Sea Scout awards of Apprentice, Ordinary, Able and Quartermaster are being similarly scrutinized. This apparently is being undertaken on the basis that low participation in the Venturing awards program is considered to be of concern. The question is why? One explanation may be that Traditional Boy Scout programs have used advancement statistics as a measure of success of the program [e.g., how many Eagle Scouts, and other ranks, how many merit badges earned, etc.] However, for teen programs, again this is in my opinion, not a statistically valid or appropriate measurement tool that is apparently being applied for Venturing recognitions as a measure of program “success.” It should not be!

    Venturing does not have an “advancement” program in the sense that traditional Boy Scouting does. It has instead, age-appropriate recognition awards which are designed to recognize youth for their participation in the many exciting outdoor high adventure, special interest, or other available elements of the program which is the primary purpose of the program that attracts and keeps teens involved.

    When Venturing was created, the youth and adults of the National Venturing Committee deliberately designed the recognition awards that were based on the original Exploring Awards developed in the 40’s and 50′ when “ratings” were skills proficiency awards that were like “advanced merit badges” and the Silver Award was Exploring’s highest award and the Ranger Award was the highest outdoor proficiency award. Venturing is one of the few BSA programs that involved youth members in the creation and design considerations of the awards and other program elements.

    Experience has shown that on average, teens don’t really care much about earning awards as they just want to have fun and enjoy the programs that they plan and carry out. There should not be an effort to “make Venturers more like Boy Scouts” as the trend seems to be heading. One of the reasons Venturing is so successful is that it is NOT designed in the mold of a Boy Scout Troop where advancement is highly stressed as a program element and method. Traditional Boy Scout programs were primarily designed for 11-14 year olds, not older teens. Even some Boy Scouts [in my experience as a Scoutmaster] are NOT interested in advancement, but just want to have fun. One size does NOT fit all.

    What does work in Venturing is “Stealth Recognition” where the advisor keeps a record of the activities that Venturers plan and participate in, and by coincidence, often qualify for most of the requirements of the various awards. So the advisor shares that information with the youth and assists them in completing the paperwork and receiving the award through a Crew review program. For those youth who are interested, they often then pursue the higher achievements on their own, but they are not coerced or pressured into doing so, as is sometimes the case for some Scout Troops in my experience.

    Venturers who have been former [or are even concurrent] Boy Scouts often are burned out on advancement and want something different. There is a good Venturing DVD that interviews Eagle Scouts, who have become Venturers and they openly say that they want a different experience than they had in the Troop which may not include advancement. Even youth who were never in Scouting and join a Venturing Crew are sometimes just not interested in awards. The same goes for Sea Scout Ships which also offer traditional recognition awards if the youth wish to participate. Not everyone does and that is fine.

    Those former Scouts who have earned at least 1st Class and join a Venturing Crew are allowed to continue working on Boy Scout advancement in the crew and can earn the Eagle Scout Award in the crew if they wish.

    Moreover a little known fact is that the vast majority of male Venturers [and of course, all of the female Venturers] have never been Boy Scouts. Venturers tend to be older with a “bell curve” of members peaking at 17, followed closely by 16, then 18 and tapering down in the younger [13-15] and older[19-20] age groups. There are more female than male Venturers overall. So it is understandable that they are not interested in being molded into a Traditional Boy Scout Troop format program.

    Similarly in my experience [and that of many other advisors], the youth have often told me that among their non-Boy Scout peers, it is not considered “cool” to be a Boy Scout and some youth actually reported being hassled or criticized if it became known that they were Boy Scouts. Conversely, Venturing, Sea Scouts, and Exploring members were accepted and even complimented because it was known that these programs are designed for teens and are coed.

    Venturing was created in 1998 and was [and continues to be] the fastest growing young adult program in the BSA while other programs are shrinking. The largest total available youth pool exists in the young men and women between ages 13 and 20 and this same pool of youth are also the least well-served by the BSA in terms of recruitment and number of units. For many decades, young adult programs including Exploring, [and later] Venturing and Sea Scouting traditionally and despite their popularity and success, were often called “the best kept secret in Scouting.” The reason is simple . . . Councils typically put most of their emphasis, funding and efforts on Boy Scouting and Cub Scouting programs. This emphasis occurs despite the fact that the pools of available youth in both those programs and age groups are comparatively much smaller, particularly since they only serve boys.

    If BSA really wishes to recruit more young adults, and thus exponentially increase overall membership, then considerably more emphasis should be placed on promoting and supporting Venturing, Sea Scouts and LFL Exploring at the National and at the Council level. Traditional Boy Scout programs experience their greatest attrition of youth at age 14 when they enter high school.

    Moreover, in order to encourage older youth [and particularly Boy Scouts] who are just entering high school to enter “Scouting’s Next Step” age-appropriate teen programs, this is the time to recruit older Scouts into Venturing, Sea Scouts, and Exploring to keep them active in the Scouting family, rather than just dropping out entirely which so many often do.

    Very few Scout Troops will do this, and some Scoutmasters even fear that Venturing will “steal their older youth” leaving them “without older-boy leadership.” Sadly, they do not realize that the older youth are likely to leave anyway, and if you provide them an allied Venturing program, it is very probable that they will stay involved with the Troop because they now have an alternative teen group to belong to that meets their interests and needs. This is a proven concept and worked well for many Troops, including my own, when we formed an Explorer Post, and later a Venturing Crew and Sea Scout Ship over a period of 20 years. During that period we had more than 120 Eagle Scouts, and a number of Exploring, Venturing and Sea Scout recognitions as well.

    It is also a very effective recruitment tool because the younger Scouts get to experience or see what the Venturers and Sea Scouts get to do and the Venturers work with and help them on campouts and trips, so younger Scouts can hardly wait to be old enough to join Venturing and Sea Scouts. And the Venturers get credit toward recognitions for teaching the Scouts in various topics such as first aid, wilderness survival, etc.

    Troops that organize crews and ships can use the same adult leaders concurrently to be on the crew or ship advisor/skiipper staff or unit committee and the youth can be multipled so there is no added cost other than the annual charter fee. Venturers are primarily registered in the crew and multipled in the Troop if they wish to continue to be registered as Scouts concurrently.

    Unfortunately, this is rarely done and those older youth drop out of Scouting entirely and permanently, and follow the more appealing typical teen programs of sports, band, and other coed organizations. Some Scout Troops have found success by forming allied Venturing Crews and Sea Scout Ships to keep their youth active and interested in challenging programs that the Troop generally cannot offer, but working concurrently with the Troop can meet those needs through Venturing.

    Venturing, Sea Scouts, and Exploring are programatically NOT the same as traditional Boy Scouting, nor were they ever intended to be. Venturing is described as “Scouting’s Next Step” and so it should be, as an “age appropriate” natural transition. Teens want to explore careers, and they want challenging and coed outdoor high adventure and related experiences. They are far less interested in advancements and ranks that appeal more to pre-teen aged boys. There is little doubt that Venturing shares the same values and association of their origins in Scouting, but it is done in a way that appeals to teens, both male and female, that is not available in the format of the traditional Boy Scout program, which is at least in part, why Venturing has been so successful.

    Venturing developed one of the most dramatically effective advanced youth leadership training programs ever conceived in Scouting and it was largely designed by Venturers. The program of the Venturing Leadership Skills Course, and the Kodiak and Kodiak-X outdoor experiential leadership programs were hailed as among the very best and parts were even incorporated in the 21st Century Woodbadge Curriculum where Venturers are invited to serve as instructors for parts of the WB training. The Venturing Powderhorn outdoor resource leadership skills training is hailed as a model adult leader training which has been opened to Boy Scout leaders as well. Moreover, the Boy Scouting program division copied the Venturing leadership training curriculum and incorporated it in the newer Introduction to Youth Leadership training, as well as NYLT and NAYLE.

    It is difficult to see how eliminating the Venturing oath and code, etc., and replacing them with the Boy Scout Oath, law, etc., will bring the program to be”more closely aligned with Traditional Boy Scouting” in light of the nature and reality of the brilliantly conceived and designed age appropriate Venturing program. Let’s not homogenize the best elements of all three age appropriate programs into a “one size fits all” model. Each program offers unique and appealing elements for the age group it serves, and that is part of the proven marketing appeal to those youth.

    As with any typical family, the organization of the Boy Scouts of America is a “Scouting Family” and each member of that family [Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturing and LFL Exploring] is and should be unique and irreplaceable” family member” because each one contributes a special value and appeal to a particular “age group.” As a whole, the program divisions seek to recruit and maintain youth in the Scouting Family, from the youngest years until they mature and graduate into adulthood.

    Thus the goal should be to transition youth from the beginning programs, into the next age appropriate program. Moreover, youth who have never been in Scouting at any age should also be welcomed and encouraged to also join and benefit. Venturing, Sea Scouts and Exploring are particularly effective in reaching those youth when given the opportunity and promotional program support to do so.

    Review of all program elements in Scouting to consider changes that may further enhance the efficacy and appeal of the brilliantly conceived youth program that Baden-Powell [and other notable Scouting pioneers such as Ernest Thompson Seton], may be appropriate from time to time, but it must be conducted with judicious and cautious review to avoid losing elements that are proven to be timeless, effective, and useful to program appeal, and of equal importance,, to support much needed expansion and growth of the programs.

    Again,the old adage ” . . . if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it . . . ” may be appropriate.

    • I think your comment was beautiful, thank you for that.

      • Brian M. Adams // October 17, 2012 at 9:55 pm // Reply

        Could not have said it any better.

        (Standing Ovation!)

    • Very, very well said!

  71. Yet another fine example of committee-think by this executive committee. Bad idea. Bad, bad, bad, bad idea. Don’t these people have jobs or something else they can screw with and leave Scouting well enough alone? Don’t we have enough problems?

  72. I like the one oath and law resolution, with one exception. All of the handshakes should be the same – the Boy Scout handshake. I see Cub Scout handshakes massacred all the time.

  73. I have talked with many Venturing youth in our Council since I am active with our Council VOA and mentor our Council ILSC youth trainers. Every one of then was against the changes. Their concern was their Crews would become just like Scout Troops. They joined Venturing because it was different from a Troop. The more the two programs become alike, the less attractive they will be to the older youth. Sea Scouts already say the Scout Oath and Law besides the Sea Scout Promise. Our Crew was also familiar with the Oath and Law. The Venturing Oath and Code took it to the next level for them and more appropriate for their developmental stage of exploring their place in the world. I really hope they do not mess with the Awards and Recognitions for Venturing. i will loose many youth to the program if National changes them too.

  74. What needs to be fixed is the uniform!!! The boys HATE it. I know boys who will not risk wearing it anywhere they might be seen by their peers. Scouting may be cool, but the uniform is considered dorky. Even on adults it is not attractive, especially on anyone who might have a bit of a belly. The pants don’t fit women at all.

  75. Bill Goetsch // October 17, 2012 at 10:29 pm // Reply

    Venturing youth want a different and yet rewarding program of scouting. The loss of Venture Scout identity is a big mistake by the “good ol’ boys” at the National executive board. I would venture a guess that not one of the members actively participates with Venture scouting.

    • Don’t confure Venture and Venturing. Not the same.

      There is no such thing as “Venture Scout” in the BSA.

  76. Lets remember this was designed to be a male mentor ship program and its called the Boy Scouts of America.

  77. “Q: What, specifically, is being changing?” Really? How about a badge for grammar? Or did BSA outsource this resolution to India?

  78. We don’t have an easier version of the Pledge of Allegiance, and Kindergartners can handle it with guidance. The Girl Scouts have always had one Promise and Law, no matter what age (granted the progression in Girl Scouts is different, smoother, I could easily get sidetracked discussing this.) There are many other things we start teaching at a young age, and we don’t have to dumb it all down, they learn by continued exposure (Lord’s Prayer, Ten Commandments, and others come to mind)…
    Anyway, the kids can and will learn it, it won’t weaken either Cubs or Boy Scouts, and we can all adapt. It will (as most things are) be harder on the adults than on the kids.
    As far as memorizing, do you all test the kids on the promise and law of the pack and withhold their Bobcat if they can’t say it from memory? I think that would be a shame, as long as they have tried to learn what it means, and will continue to learn it as they are exposed to it at every meeting. Same goes for the Boy Scout version…
    Sorry to ramble…

    • What worries me about the Cubs is that they won’t really retain all of what they’re reciting. I sepnt my whole life in Sunday school and, sure, I could recite the Lord’s Prayer and Ten Commandments, but it was just like times tables as school, just something I was expected to know. With the current oath and law for Cubs they are able to break it down easily and have the meaning explained to them, I’m worried that as they advance, they will already know the Scout oath and law and it will just be something that’s there, information in their heads that’s always been there. By making it something ‘new’ when they advance, a new Scout is more likely to think about what they are being asked to memorize and take the words with some meaning, as something more than sounds.

      I too, apologize for rambling… :)

      • Your concerns make sense, as do most of the concerns on here… I think that is where we as leaders will have to make an effort to help the boys take the oath and law seriously and learn about it over and over again as they go. I feel like often times they boys don’t really internalize it at the bobcat stage anyway, so we should be reviewing it every year anyway, and adding to their knowledge and understanding…

    • I believe you are accurate when you talk about the fact that people gain insight and meaning as they develop. A Tiger Cub has an understanding of the Promise. That understanding deepens as he develops. The same will take place with the Scout Oath and Law. The boys will be able to internalize the important values of Scouting as they grow and develop.

  79. One thing that I have learned from over 10 years as a Cubmaster and a Den Leader before that, is in order to survive, we must change to fit the times. As a boy, Lions went away to make room for a Webelos program, the uniform continues to change as well and training has changed so much in the last 20 years that it makes a leader’s head spin.

    Boys are frequently much smarter than we think they are, and I am sure that when a good explanation is made of what each point means, they will pick up on it quickly. I have found that the boys in my area are much more concerned that the Trails End menu has changed than who Akela is anyway. I am sure that if this does not work out, it will change again.

    For the older crowd, I understand Tammy Campbell’s concerns. I was a Troop Committee member when Venturing became a stand alone program. Many of us were sure that this “new idea” would decimate out troops. Then including teen age girls into the mix is still being viewed as a bad idea. Program wise, the youth seem to get along fine, in fact adults are more upset than they are from what I have seen.

    For me, I want to see this play out for a while and will reserve judgement until I see more details and what the youth think of it. ,

  80. From inception in 1982″ish” til 2001 the Tiger Cubs had their own promise. People then said the same thing said about not being able to memorize the Cub Scout Promise. Kids will adapt, they won’t know the difference. And if they grow up their entire life knowing the Scout Oath, it will be all the more instilled in their brain.
    Its the Adult Scouters who already know both and want to be gruffs about it. Admit it… you already slip up when saying the Cub Scout Promise and end up saying parts of the Scout Oath.
    And EVERY single Venturer I know says their oath is to long and generic, so glad that changed.

  81. Who thinks this decision will result in membership and program growth?

  82. I don’t support this decision. Each is a separate program, with their own uniqueness. A Cub Scout has Boy Scouting to look up. Many comments here about Bobcat Requirements, but what about Webelos Requirements – I guess we can just reduce what is expected. Great programs set up today to feed off of one another.
    This coupled with announcement of Eagle-required Merit Badge changes makes me wonder if we are going to slip into another 70’s fiasco. Be very careful BSA!

  83. Here is something to look at as far as Venturing the Crew can set their own by-laws and mission statement etc. just like any business unit that is what they are patterened after President VP etc. With that in mind they can keep things as they are due to their by-laws including the uniform seeing that they can set that up in their by-laws so all of this change for Venturing is up to the youth to put it in the by-laws of the Crew or not. This will be a topic of diccusion at the next meeting I am sure.

    • Having bylaws (one word, no hyphen) and such has NOTHING to do with businesses.

      Organizations, clubs, societies and such have bylaws and officers like President, VP, etc. Groups like Optimist clubs, Rotary, Toastmasters, etc.

      • That is your take on the subject not mine or the youth in our Crew. So grammer is not the best got your attention did it not. This all being said the youth can and will do what they want with the changes. All of our youth get awards that is the way we structor the program and most of all we have fun doing it. Have one female youth that will be rappeling over 400 ft for scouting and wants to do the jump that was made over the weekend will start training at age 18 for that jump. Educaltion and awards and fun while on the edge of ones comfort zone is where Venturing is at for the youth in our Crew

  84. Faun Guarino // October 18, 2012 at 9:24 am // Reply

    I still do not understand what problems this move is expected to fix. If National believes that boys are not transitioning from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts because of the different promise/oath and laws, I think our organization has even bigger problems. It might be blasphemous but it’s true: Scouting is not for every boy, BUT every boy should be able to have the experience of Scouting.

    • EXACTLY!!!! The Law and Promise are NOT the issue!!!! Thank you!

  85. In the 1970’s there was a move to change the organization name from Boy Scouts of America to “Scouting USA.” This actually resulted in changing the letterhead and branding logos of the organization as well as modernizing the fleur de lis logo. This was done in anticipation of a possible merger with the Girl Scouts of the USA and of other youth organizations such Campfire, et al. Regrettably those negotiations were not successful and thus the Scouting USA brand was eventually dropped and reverted back to the organization name being called the Boy Scouts of America. The nomenclature is probably based on the historical evolution that first was only composed of Boy Scouts, but then Sea Scouts were included in 1912 and later Cub Scouts were created which was thematically based on the Rudyard Kipling “Jungle Book” lore which was popular with young boys and continues to be to this day. Lord Robert S.S. Baden-Powell and his wife Lady Olave [who was the chief organizer of the Girl Scouts and Girl Guides] had highly encouraged programs for all age appropriate male and female youth groups from early years up through maturity. .

    It is regrettable that this effort did not succeed as it would have permitted BSA to greatly expand its youth membership by welcoming young women and young men in many programs. The upshot of this effort was that in the 1970’s Exploring only was opened up to female membership, but no other programs.

    Those who attend World Scout Jamborees or other international jamborees and Scouting events will experience Scouting with many other international Scouting units [often more than 160 nations participate in World Jamborees] that are fully coed and continue to be highly successful. If there is to be a positive outcome of the 411 studies, it would certainly be a renaissance if female membership were extended to other programs in addition to Venturing, Sea Scouts and Exploring. The World Jamborees I have attended with a Regional Venturing Crew with young women and young men seem to be much more compatible and comfortable with the other international Scout contingents. The BSA World Jamboree Boy Scout Troops find themselves in a distinct minority by not having coed membership. When some of them learned about the opportunity of attending as a Venturer with a coed crew, they said they wished they would have known about that option as they would have signed up to be in the Venturing Crews rather than in the Scout Troops.

    Fortunately BSA will have a coed Venturing Subcamp at the 2013 National Jamboree which is the first time that Venturers may be participants in a National Jamboree. Previously they could only attend as a youth staff member, so there is finally a move to be more inclusive of coed membership in the organization. It should be noted that an effort was made to have coed Explorer Posts participate in the 1989 National Scout Jamboree, but the effort was very poorly promoted and publicized at the local council level, so very few Explorers knew about the opportunity and it was consequently very poorly attended. As a result, BSA would not permit another attempt until the 2013 National Scout Jamboree.

    • More so than an emphasis on coeducational scouting programs, the Scouting/USA name change effort coincided with both the Boypower/Manpower ’76 effort and the move away from focusing on outdoor skills with the release of the 8th Edition of the Boy Scout Handbook in 1972 (the green cover one). This edition was supposed to appeal to more urban scouts and got away from much of the traditional outdoor program of the Boy Scouts. This edition also featured a commemorative Bicentennial Printing in July 1976 (600,000 copies) with cover art by Joseph Csatari “All Out for Scouting”, that showed the temporary Scouting/USA logo. This particular printing is fairly collectible and is getting difficult to find in mint condition, largely because of its short run.

      In response to this “urbanized” edition, William “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt appealed to then Chief Scout Executive Alden Barber, who invited him out of retirement to write the 9th Edition (1989) that reintroduced many of the outdoor skills left out of the 8th Edition.

      Incidentally, there was so much controversy within the organization during the mid-seventies, that there was a period of 10 months or so when there was NO Chief Scout Executive. Harvey Price replaced Barber as “Interim Chief Scout Executive” for some months, during 1977. The Eagle Certificates listing him as “Interim” are highly collectible.

  86. Youth Venturer // October 18, 2012 at 12:28 pm // Reply

    Does this Apply to the Sea Promise?

  87. Jo Poplawski // October 18, 2012 at 2:30 pm // Reply

    Some of our officers discussed this last night and emailed me this morning. They decided that this not really going to affect them. They have their own uniforms, not the BSA Venturing uniforms. They want to continue using the existing Venturing Oath because it is more suited to them, and it doesn’t use the term “Scout”.

    Our Crew is comprised of about a third of females, a third of males who are also Boy Scouts and a third of males that quit Boy Scouts. They all joined Venturing because it wasn’t Boy Scouts. We are not associated with a Troop, neither is our Chartered Organization. In the last six years, we have put out an equal amount of Eagle Scouts as the Troops in town. We actively use the Venturing awards as well.

    I wish the BSA would give more support and resources to Venturing instead of trying to turn it into “Senior Boy Scouts with girls”. It’s a great program and alternative to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

  88. Kerry Watson // October 18, 2012 at 2:35 pm // Reply

    This is excellent! The Scout Oath and Scout Law are solid principles that can apply to all ages. I like it.

    I also was confused when I was in my Venturing uniform and reciting the Scout Oath. Is it the 3 finger of full hand sign. Simple and easy. I like that. :-)

    I have always found the Scout Oath and Law to be my favorite and most meaningful even when involved with Cub Scouts and Venturing.

    Well done decision makers.

  89. I am quite pleased by the few commenters that are correcting erroneous uses of Venture Scouts when people are referring to Venturing.

    In a small way this illustrates how unknown many aspects of the Venturing program are to the rest of the BSA.

  90. Mike Metzger // October 19, 2012 at 7:09 am // Reply

    As a Webelos II den leader and Scoutmaster, I fully support this initiative. We are spending time to memorize the scout oath an law for the arrow of light. If this was done earlier, I could be using that time to better prepare my guys for the differences in mechanics of the meetings, outings, advancements, etc. This would make for a much smoother transition into the Troop. In my opinion, Bobcats, Tigers, Wolves, and Bears should need to be able too explain what the oath and law mean and reciting from memory should be a Webelo badge requirement. There could be a special patch for cubs who can recite it in the earlier ranks.

  91. Steve Richards // October 19, 2012 at 8:52 am // Reply

    In the beginning, there was just Boy Scouting. The original principles were captured in the Oath, Law, and Promise. Regardless of your age or whether you walk, float or fly, these principles are at the core of the organization. I think this is a good thing obviously.

    • I agree with Steve. What I have a problem with is keeping the “Boy Scouts of America” as the overall name. We are including girls in our membership. Why not adopt the name: “Scouts of America” or “Scouting America” or “American Scouting”.
      We need a generic name. One name, one purpose, one oath, one promise, one sign, one handshake. One strong, unified organization.

      • You mean One Name, One Purpose, One Oath, One Law

        Two Signs, Two Handshakes…

        • one name, one purpose, one oath, one law, one sign, one handshake…
          one strong purposeful organization

  92. I need to add to the above comment…I’m an over 65 year veteran of Scouting.
    I started in Scouting, then became an Assistant Explorer Advisor. Professionally I have experience in “branding”. I know what is needed to unify or tie together various
    units of an organization. National has much more important business to attend to at this time, so as to ensure public support, confidence and funding present and future!

  93. I think it was a good move & support the change yet understand that it is human nature to resist change..

  94. Abdulkadir Alhassan // October 19, 2012 at 12:20 pm // Reply

    Due to the fact that most of the cub cannot read even the 2 promise of the cub it took them long time before they can memorise.How can you placed them on 10 scout promise which has alot of contradiction.Laws 2 contradict law 7 etc.

    • Dawn - Webelos I Den Leader // November 20, 2012 at 1:04 pm // Reply

      I’m not sure I understand your comment. I don’t think the laws contradict each other.

      My problem is NOT that they are changing everything over. My problem is that there will be no appropriate “transition.” The official transition will be when the new books are published. In the meantime, how do we proceed? To be fair to the boys, I would want to start transitioning now, but the books will continue to say that the boys need to learn the Cub Scout promise and law to receive their Bobcat. This seems to be where the biggest problems will come (in my opinion). I have no doubt that the boys are capable of learning the information, just that the next few years will cause confusion.

  95. Nancy I. Garman // October 19, 2012 at 1:38 pm // Reply

    Keep it the way it is now regarding the Cub Scouts. Let them have their own program. Let them be little boys. I think this is pushing them, and many kids are already under pressure to be pushed ahead (grow up too soon) in school and in the media.

  96. I think that Cubbies learning Scout Oath and Law is important and a great move. They still have their own salute, motto, handshake, etc… The Law of the Pack is okay, but Scout Law is much more what scouts is all about, Trustworthy, Helpful, Friendly… All of these values are taught throughout the Cub program (my son joined as a Tiger, is currently a Web 1) and teaching Scout Oath/Law off the bat means less of a learning curve in Webelos. Their program is changed quite a bit as it is, and it’s complicated for them to learn something new, that they haven’t practiced for three years. Go BSA! I think it should have been this way from the beginning.

  97. I’m definitely in favor of this; I’ve hated the Cub Scout Promise, ever since I was actually a Cub Scout, the Oath isn’t much better. The only problem I see, is that there are lots of Boy Scout units that don’t do the Oath correctly as it is. It is properly broken down into three parts:
    1. On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
    2. to help other people at all times;
    3. to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

    The Venturing Oath is just badly written – it’s an attempt to re-state the Scout oath principles, but just make it sound differently I actually think that they should also retire the two-finger cub salute and sign while they’re at it. The three-fingered salute and sign is the universal symbol of Scouting, and really, there’s nothing that looks sillier than an adult Cub leader saluting with two fingers. (IMHO).

    Both the Cub Scouts and Venturing are outgrowths of, and rely on, the Boy scout program. One of the problems we have, is that the different types of units – even when they have the same sponsor – often have little or no contact with each other. This move will – in my opinion – help to foster a common spirit of camaraderie, and lead to greater cohesion and a smoother transition as boys move from one program to another.

    Mick Wagner
    Unit Commissioner
    Thunderbird District, Cascade Pacific Council, BSA

  98. It is very important to look at Scouting from a somewhat different standpoint. It is not about what adults like or think it should be about, it is about what has been determined to be the most appealing and effective program proven to be best for the youth and what is most likely to inspire them to enjoy and remain active in the program.

    Scouters need to be committed to that concept and not to their own opinions and preferences. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and if something doesn’t seem to be working, then suggestions through appropriate channels are always welcome which is what helps the program grow and appeal to youth. Some ideas may be appropriate and useful, and others may not.

    , Venturing, Sea Scouts, Exploring and Cub Scouts are not outgrowths of traditional Boy Scouts programs, nor should they be labeled as such,. merely because Boy Scouts were the first element of the program developed by Baden-Powell, The Boy Scout program was designed to be age appropriate for 11-14 year olds. After that, Venturing, Sea Scouts and Exploring are age appropriate for 13 through 20 year olds, and similarly Tiger Cubs and Cub Scouts are age appropriate for those youth under age 11. In the 1950’s Boy Scouts who reached age 14 were automatically transferred to Explorer Posts and wore the forest green uniforms, so there were no Boy Scouts older than 14. This was an incentive for younger Scouts to become Explorers and do more challenging activities. Posts and Troops worked together and Explorers helped the younger Scouts. .

    Today, the largest attrition for traditional Boy Scout troops is at age 14 when youth enter high school. If these young men could be directed into a coed Venturing, Sea Scout and Exploring program, there is a good chance they would remain in Scouting, but there is generally little effort made by Scouters and local councils to facilitate such opportunities so the youth often leave Scouting entirely.

    Scoutmasters sometimes fear that Venturing will “steal their older youth leadership” leaving them without help from older Scouts. However if Scouters would facilitate forming a Venturing Crew or Sea Scout Ship associated with the Troop they would find that the youth will remain active because they now have their own program that meets their interests and needs. Our Troop did this more than 20 years ago and kept the older youth interested and active through high school so it is a proven method.

    Lord Robert Baden-Powell and his wife Lady Olave Baden-Powell recognized the need for extending Scouting to both young girls and boys and similarly for young men and women until they become adults, with the hope that they will at some point then return the favor to Scouting by becoming adult leaders.

    Sea Scouts are the second oldest young adult program of the BSA which was formed in 1912, followed by Cub Scouts, next by Air Scouts, and then Exploring, and finally Venturing. ALL are a part of the SCOUTING FAMILY of the BSA. Each program division contributes unique and appealing offerings to different age groups of youth which cannot be effectively or appropriately met by the other divisions, despite claims to the contrary. Also as previously noted, the vast majority of Venturers and Sea Scouts, as well as Explorers HAVE NEVER BEEN BOY SCOUTS. This sadly indicates the nearly total lack of transition to what should be “Scouting’s Next Step”.

    As i noted in an earlier post, BSA actually changed the organization name in the 1970’s to SCOUTING USA. and changed the logo and brand designs. This was done in possible anticipation of merging with the Girl Scouts of the USA and other Youth organizations such as Campfire, et al. Regrettably when this did not
    work out, the organization went back to the original BSA name. It might be well to reconsider changing the organization name back to SCOUTING USA and try again for such reconciliation with other youth groups.

    If traditional Boy Scout Troops could meet all these needs and appeal to all those age groups, then there would be no need for Cub Scouts and for Venturing, Sea Scouts, and Exploring. Clearly that need exists as is evidenced by the shrinking numbers of traditional Boy Scouts nationally. Venturing remains as the fastest growing program of the BSA, but it does not get anywhere near the level of support and promotion that it should from Scouters, the local councils or even the national organization. If it did, the overall growth of youth members in BSA would very likely be exponential. rather than declining

    The values and traditions of Scouting are expressed in age appropriate terms in the existing Cub Scout Oath and Promise, and in the Venturing Oath and Code [just as they were in the previous and identical Exploring Code], but in terms that are age appropriate to the maturity of young boys, and of young men and women respectively. Homogenizing those and other program elements into a “one size fits all” Boy Scout Troop format is simply inappropriate and unnecessary.

    The traditional Boy Scout program is by no means a “one-size fits all” program because it does not appeal to the vast majority of young men and women between the ages of 13 through 20. Venturing, Sea Scouts and Exploring fulfill the age appropriate needs of that age group by welcoming both male and female teens and giving them the finest leadership skills, challenging high adventure outdoor opportunities and career orientation opportunities ever offered in the BSA. Even the Boy Scouting Division copied venturing’s leadership skills training programs as they were vastly superior to what the Boy Scout program was offering.

    It is essential to behave as a “Scouting Family” to mutually support and embrace all of the program divisions and try to make sure that youth can join and get the advantages and outcomes that each program division can offer as the youth travel through the Scouting Experience until they reach adulthood. The journey is far more important than the destination because as a youth, they “will only pass this way but once.”

  99. I have to say that my youngest son had no trouble memorizing the Scout Law. He learned it while his big brothers worked on it when he was in kindergarten. He started Tigers, and had to learn the Cub one instead. He had far more trouble with the whole Akela concept than he did with understanding any of the words of the Boy Scout law.

    I think we are seriously underestimating our boys if we think that they can’t grasp the meaning of words like trustworthy at the age of 6.

    I like that Tigers won’t have to memorize it, though. It is a bit like American Heritage Girls then. They have a 12 point creed and the youngest girls (up through 3rd grade) only have to understand it. It isn’t until 4th grade that they have to memorize it. I’m grateful for that. It means I have three years until I need to learn it (I’m positive my first grade daughter could master it now, but *I* will get it confused with the BSA one.)

    If AHG feels that 6 year old girls can understand words like perseverant (!!) it seems crazy that so many worry that 6 year old boys can’t grasp words like courteous.

    • Mark Eagle Scout Class of 1986 // October 21, 2012 at 9:54 pm // Reply

      The Tiger scout promise is only two sentence longer. As a Tiger Scout Leader I feel that starting now and proper leadership they will do well. As do I have a Daisy Scout there promise is almost identical as the cub scouts and boy scouts. The Scout Law is much shorter than the Girl Scout Law. Again, it is the leadership that will make or break our scouts.

  100. Mark Eagle Scout Class of 1986 // October 21, 2012 at 9:46 pm // Reply

    With the change to the Law and Oath and the affective date for cub scouts being the mid 2015 as leaders we should start teaching the Cub scouts of all levels noe as this will allow a seemless transition to the changes. By the time the current tigers reach weblos they will have a head start with the changes. We need to continue teaching the new cub scouts every year from now until 2015. The change may be upsetting to some but the Girl scouts have had the same law and promise for all levels of girl scouting for a long time. As a eagle scout that started as a Bobcat meny years ago I see this as a good change this will ease the transition between the levels of scouting.

  101. Personally, I think this is a good move. But, it also doesn’t go far enough.

    The current structure (IMHO) needs to be more fully integrated using the existing programs.

    Tigers for fun, Cubs for fun and learning, Scouts for further development of scouting skills, and Venturing having a more challenging environment for adventure. With each program building upon the next while retaining the Arrow of Light, Eagle, and Venturing their Awards.

    Oh, one small thing… we in the USA should take a long hard look at what they’ve done in the UK… Girl Guides are still around, but full co-ed is now the way Scouting works in England.

    Leadership would be more difficult. But if not Co-Ed, we need to find a way to help the young females. Girl Scouting has become mostly irrelevant and a far departure from what “Girl Guides” was intended for. Campfire is all but gone.

    Many of us Scouter’s and Parents have daughters that we wouldn’t let near the Girl Scout program, American Heritage Girls just isn’t available, and there arn’t many other options.

    And this is a discussion we need to start having now, rather than later.

    • Why isn’t American Heritage Girls available? If you don’t have one in your area, start one. AHG is growing extremely fast and is available in all of the US and some other countries and troops are starting daily. Go to ahgonline.org to find out about AHG and how to start a troop.

  102. L. Wayne Prejean // October 23, 2012 at 8:45 am // Reply

    As a Scoutmaster for 50 yrs with 103 Eagle scout we need some changes, but not to far from center of what we are trying to do. Recruiting has become an issue with boys and parents as to the leadership styles with their boys. Large group of scout are not corrected at home on their action, so it’s up to us to guide their direction.

  103. This is seriously stupid and the fact two separate task forces came to this conclusion makes me wonder what kind of self-reinforcing lunacy we have down at National. Scouting has been somewhat of a bulwark against the steady degradation of standards in contemporary society but this is just one more example of our slow decline.

    Ease the transition? Why have so many years worth of Cubs not had a problem learning their own oath and law and then transitioning when they crossed over but we suddenly have issues with this? Most I’ve seen in 25 years as an adult leader enjoyed the chance to show a distinction between being a Cub and a Boy Scout.

    • Derek, BSA is going the same route as GSUSA, changing things that don’t need to be changed in a effort to attract people who aren’t interested in joining anyway.

  104. Is Sea Scouts also adopt the Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout sign, Scout moto, Scout Slogan and Scout salute?

  105. They changed the Cub Scout promise in the late 60’s, right before I became a Cub Scout, replacing the phrase “To be square”, with “To help other people”, to replace what had become a negative colloquial expression with a phrase that more closely parallels the Boy Scout Oath, which hasn’t changed since its inception. I am a Cub leader now and do not see a problem with the change. Kind of wish they had done it 50 years ago.

    The Law of the Pack has always seemed kind of dumb to me.

    BTW, the BSA also changed the Cub Salute in the late 30’s. It was formerly an outstretched hand, which seemed to invoke a Nazi salute. So . . . change isn’t always bad.

    In about 40 years of being in Scouting, I have noticed that once you do something a couple of times, it becomes “the way we have ALWAYS done it.”

  106. Lonnie Adkins // October 25, 2012 at 7:36 pm // Reply

    Why change… I had no problem as a Cub Scout or Boy Scout and the change between them. Also, the requirements were over all tougher to accomplish “way back when” This transition and “easing” the boys along is right up there with the dumbing down of society. Kids need challenge, not coddling.

    • Damn straight requirements were tougher “way back when.” I’ve noticed that most merit badges and advancement requirements have been modified to allow completion in a weekend or a week at summer camp.

      For example, the signaling requirement. Sure Morse code isn’t used much but it is a fun skill to know BUT it can’t be mastered in a day or two so it fell by the wayside.

      • Scouting is always working to remain relevant. While some believe signaling and the Morse Code to be fun skills they are not relevant to the vast majority of today’s youth. Irrelevant skills are dropped. At the same time skills and traits that will help our youth make ethical and moral decisions over the course of a lifetime are enhanced.

        • Map reading and knots aren’t really relevant either. Hey, those were dropped for the most part too. As I said before, anything that can’t be mastered in a weekend has been dropped.

          I’m curious, what skills are being taught that help our youth make ethical and moral decisions?

        • Most of Scouting has never been relevant but the skills were taught for the boys to learn self-reliance and to give the boys a sense of accomplishment when the skill was mastered. Trees? Not relevant. Animals? Who cares? Signalling was never really relevant. Neither was tracking. Axmanship? Nah.

          I haven’t been a Scouter for 50 years like some but, in more than a decade, I’ve seen more than a few boys from more than a few troops. I can’t think of many who were excited about any of the stuff that they were doing. I can only remember one who thought that making First Class was the shizzle. The rest were all ho-hum about it. Why? Mostly because nothing really required any effort on their part.

  107. I am excited for the change. I’m ready for it now! As a committee member of all units in my chartered organization, I have struggled learning all the different oaths, as I have noticed the boys have too. They usually focus on the Boy Scout Oath and Law. My youngest son, who has 2 older brothers, had both the Scout Oath and Law memorized when he turned 7.

  108. Long-time Scouter // October 27, 2012 at 2:22 am // Reply

    I learned the Cub Scout Oath and Law of the Pack in 1962, went on the learn the Boy Scout Oath and Law in 1965, and finally the Sea Scout Oath and Law of the Sea in 1968. We went from saluting with two fingers (Cubs), to three (Boy Scouts), to the full military-style salute in Sea Scouts. Why change the way it is. It sounds like all National cares about is taking advantages away from the boys as they grow older and get near the next level.

    Why not go all the way and put everyone in the same uniform. National doesn’t care about what the boys or adults have to wear, which is noted by the unfashionable, ill-fitting uniforms now forced on us to wear. A lot of boys in our council would rather go without wearing; uniforms or trying to find more of the older style ones to wear. Way to go, Irving, TX. Talk to more people in the field and not just a few “special friends” like now.

  109. At first I was annoyed at the idea for the change, but after reading about the specific changes and thinking about it, I am personally OK with it. The Oath and Promise are so very closely related that settling on one is not a big issue. Besides, “I, [state your name], promise to…” is awkward to say together in a group and confusing to young scouts who are trying to learn it. As well I am glad to jettison the Law of the Pack for the Cub Scouts. Although only a 4-line stanza, it is also awkward to recite and basically abstract and meaningless to the young Cub Scouts. Having them rather focus from early childhood on the values-supporting themes of the Boy Scout Law and Oath is wonderful for a lifetime of memorizing and assimilating these character-building ideals. Starting early and allowing their leaders plenty of time to develop on the meaning of these higher-abstract terms is necessary. Because I know of a few Boy Scouts, even Eagle candidates, who still can’t tell you what “A Scout is Reverent” means… [I am sure that could be a whole new discussion thread!]

    • Julie Green, Unit Commissioner Pierceton, IN Pack 3761 and Troop 761 // October 29, 2012 at 8:29 pm // Reply

      I have been involved in Scouting for 26 years I think it is a great idea! I have always felt it is hard for the young Cub Scouts to learn one thing and then turn around and have to relearn something different in just a few years. When the Tiger Cubs were created and they then had to learn something yet totally different I thought it was crazy! Our youngest boys were learning something different three times (Tiger Cub, Cub Scout, Weblos = Boy Scout) in the first four years of the program. What were we thinking! It will be nice to teach them one thing and they will memorize that for life! I have helped conduct several Eagle board of revieves and you are quite right there are many who can not tell the meaning of “A Scout is Reverent”. Yes that is a totally new discussion thread….

  110. “The Law of the Pack is significantly more difficult for Cub Scout age boys to understand than either the Cub Scout Promise or the Scout Oath and contains concepts for which younger Cub Scouts are not developmentally prepared.”

    Huh? I learned that when I was seven or eight and I didn’t have any problem understanding it. They keep saying that kids are getting smarter but then they keep telling us that kids can’t understand concepts that were understood by kids fifty years ago.

    • Michael Benedetto // November 22, 2012 at 1:46 pm // Reply

      I’ve been doing this unofficially for years. I’ve always had Den Chiefs in my dens. During our opening, we do the Pledge of Allegiance, the Cub Scout Promise, the Law of the Pack, followed by the Den Chiefs reciting the Boy Scout Oath and Law. Once a month, we take one of those aspects of the Law and use it for a discussion and wherever possible tie in into something they are doing. For example, our Church holds a Scout Sunday service in February. That month, “A Scout is Reverent” is what we discuss and weave through our activities. When we sell popcorn, I use that as a time to go over a “A Scout is cheerful” when discuss how to approach people and “A Scout is thrifty” when working with money. The Oath and Law should be woven throughout the entire tapestry of Scouting, from Tigers to Eagle so that it becomes part of a Scout’s DNA.

  111. ” I have always felt it is hard for the young Cub Scouts to learn one thing and then turn around and have to relearn something different in just a few years. ”

    Yeah, learning new things is always so difficult for kids. Like playing baseball and going from no lead offs to being allowed to steal bases. That’s really hard.

    The real problem is that kids just don’t use their brains independent thought anymore.

    • Make that last sentence “The real problem is that kids just don’t use their brains FOR independent thought anymore.”

  112. Dean said, ” In the 1950′s Boy Scouts who reached age 14 were automatically transferred to Explorer Posts and wore the forest green uniforms, so there were no Boy Scouts older than 14. This was an incentive for younger Scouts to become Explorers and do more challenging activities.”

    Not necessarily true. That was a possibility but not mandatory according to my old Scout handbooks, Scoutmaster handbooks and Explorer handbooks. Some troops had “explorer patrols” much like Venture Patrols are encouraged in troops.

    If you read the old books, the program was designed to keep boys involved until they aged out. The first couple years were spent mastering the basics of Scouting and First Class took more than a year to year AND you couldn’t work on merit badges until you reached First Class (if my memory serves). There wasn’t the headlong rush for rank and Eagle back in the old days.

    Look at the way that troop were run in the old days, some patrol leaders were in place for years because their patrols liked them. Now many troop have mandatory position changes every six months “to allow boys to advance.” I recall a parent screaming at my son’s SM that the SM needed to kick a boy out of a position so his son could have it for advancement.

    I used to listen to adults saying crap like “We need to run these boys through knot training so they can get . . .” What happened to the boys wanting to learn their knots so they could advance instead of being driven by their parents. And the training consists of “This is how you tie a square knot, now do it.”

    Boys drop out of Scouting because the whole thing has become parent run. We preach boy led but it isn’t practiced. What satisfaction is there for a Scout to be SPL when the SM plans the meetings and outing and the SPL just shows up and leads the Oath?

    The program is still designed to keep boys involved until they reach 18, if only the adults would follow the program.

  113. At the risk of beating a dead horse, the article says, “In the case of the Cub Scout, the 411 task force consulted with cognitive and child development specialists and educational practitioners involved in Scouting. ”

    Honestly, these are really the last people I would ask anything. Why? These are the same people who have screwed up our education system. High school students who can’t do simple arithmetic or construct simple sentences are the end product of our education system. They no longer teach handwriting so most young people’s writing looks like a kindergartner’s. At my son’s highly rated elementary school, they spent days working on “mousing skills” because that is much more valuable than handwriting. I taught a 90 year old man how to use a mouse in two minutes but “educators” need days?

    • With all the corporate donation money they are losing from Intel, UPS, Merck,… they better start looking at actual problems to solve and not this stuff. The need to revise discriminatory policies, embrace technology, and move the BSA forward. They need to cut National and District Council expenses and paid headcount. Or this organization is going to be on the fringes and obscure before we know it. Shame for the kids.

      • Embrace technology? Virtual camping?

      • So you are advocating abandoning core values to get additional funds? Now there is the real shame.

        The BSA does need to embrace more technology on the National and Council level, but this is nothing that the average Scout parent or Scout will ever see. Many Councils operate on a shoe string budget with little room for error, so I have no idea where you are at on that one. I have no idea on National.

        Scouting is about experiences. Mainly outdoor experiences. If we get our kids outside in camps and other activities they will stay in longer (higher retention) and parents will support the program.

        • No, I dont think core values need to change. But the approaches need to keep up with modern times to continue to be relevant and valuable to communities and families. The BSA has a history of holding out and excluding diverse communities for years, like excluding membership of blacks and other minorities. They finally made changes through the late 70’s to do the right thing and treat visually diverse boys the same as the white ones. Its embarassing then and still is now. Of course now, the BSA claims to embrace diversity by trying to focus on hispanic families and urban youth.

        • The 70’s? Talk about ancient history.

          Let’s talk reality. The BSA goes way way out of the way to provide program (free of charge I might add) to disadvantaged areas all over the country. The problem is much deeper in those communities with a lack of parental involvement and qualified leaders. The BSA can’t fix the family dynamic – or lack of family dynamic. It would actually be easier for them to just give up on those areas and concentrate on the low hanging fruit, but there are tremendous resources expended in areas like this. My council is doing this. If yours is not, sounds like you need to affect change.

          Do I think the BSA is perfect? Hardly. But, I do believe they are the best organization for youth hands down regardless of the color of the skin.

        • “Shoestring” Budget?!?!

          Sorry, Rob, I didn’t catch where you got your financial information from…

          According to the IRS (As a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization, the BSA and subordinate councils must file annual financial statements with the Internal Revenue Service on Form 990), Mr Mazzuca, our most recent Past Chief Scout Executive made nearly $1,577,600 (yes, that’s 1.6 _MILLION_) in 2009 (According to Charity Navigator), the fifth largest Non-Profit CEO compensation package IN THE NATION! The Greater Saint Louis Area Council recently hired a new Scout Executive, Ron Green, who moved from New Jersey for an annual compensation package over $500,000, as confirmed by a member of the selection committee (the 2009 Form 990 data confirms that the former Executive, John Primrose took home $480,000 his last full year in office (2009) – salaries don’t go down. Sure the Greater Saint Louis Area Council is the third largest council in the country, but according to IRS data, the mean salary for the typical Scout Executive in the average council is in excess of $120,000, per annum. Bet you don’t feel like doing so much “dumpster diving” for program support materials, now, do you?!

          Remember, the Boy Scouts of America is Chartered by Congress as an organization Run by Volunteers, For Volunteers, with support from paid professionals.

          So, when we start talking about the Boy Scout Law, and Oath, let’s remember that the First Point of the Law should apply equally to each Scout, Scouter, and Professional, and there should be full disclosure and truth in the compensation of paid Scout Professionals.

          I wish I had a “shoestring” budget, to run my household, too!

        • I know how my council operates and it is much different than GSLAC. Salaries are dependent on fundraising, so I have no idea why you are so upset. I believe the chief is paid too much, but that is my opinion.

          The biggest problem the BSA has had is the way they promote – from within. This is why they are behind, or have been behind on technology nationally. Crappy personnel are shipped elsewhere perpetuating the Peter Principle.

          That being said This discussion had nothing to do with executive salaries.

        • margaret hood // August 27, 2013 at 11:31 am //

          As an outsider looking in, I find those salaries to be extortionate and quite unbelievable, I agree the BSA needs to look at other issues before changing Cub and Venture laws and promises.

          Basically what I see here is the minions, you and your local members out fund raising to keep afloat and impact the Children with Scouting; but also raising money to Subsidise very Lucrative pay structures for the elite.

          Many parents struggle just to pay for their children to attend, for uniform for activities but yet they are raising funds to pay these people?

          Why change what isn’t broken but hide behind extortionate salaries when the real issues are in the limelight?

          YIS
          . .

  114. The cub scouts and boy scouts have a similar promise, but the moto and laws are very different. The cub scout motto fits their program and should stay, and I am in favor of letting them keep the shorter promise. As a tigger den leader they have trouble learning everything at the start now, it doesn’t need to be longer. The cub law is currently the hardest one for them to learn, as I would be in favor of changing it a little, but I am not sure replacing 4 points with the 12 from the boy scouts is the correct way to go. When the boys become boy scouts they are older and can learn the longer ones then.

  115. I’m not sure what to think of this change, the part of me that loves tradition is screaming “no way”. However, this appeals to the logical part of me, as it will unify our purpose. The different divisions are not linked closely enough, especially CSA & BSA. I don’t know that I’m sold on this, but I don’t think we’re talking utter folly here.

  116. I’ve got my hands in every program except Varsity. My issue is Sea Scouts. Not only did they summarily wipe out our oath and salute, but they wiped out our only unique knot – our Sea Badge trident. Sea Scouts are a unique and storied program that’s only second to the Troops in tenure. That uniqueness is being erased piece by piece. Granted – I’m not a fan of the Sea Scout promise – the part about “women and children first” is a bit antiquated in a day and age when my sister is a Coast Guard officer and a better sailor than me. But let us keep our promise (but maybe adjust it slightly), our trident and our identity.

    And by the way – it’s going to be hard to enforce this when we’re 3 miles off shore. ARGH ME HEARTIES! BSA Pirate Scouts!

    • Hey Todd, Skipper of Ship 510 Charleston here. I read the entire resolution, and only see that we must know the Scout law and oath (consistent with the change in the Sea Scout manual-venturing stuff deleted) and no mention of removing/deleting the Sea Scout Promise…Where did you source the information?(written from 3 miles off shore in support!) Fair winds, TH

  117. I disagree with the change to make 7-9 year olds memorize the Scout Oath and Law. As a 10 year old, it’s required for the AOL, different circumstances and stature for the boys position in the Pack. Many already have trouble with the simple Cub Scout Promise and are very proud when they do accomplish the task. The Committee of 75….who are they? where did they come from? Business? Exeuctive Positions? Did the committee memebers come from current Packs? Inner city packs where education is tough and learning the Oath and Law can be just another memorization burden to youngesters. When’s the last time your 75 got down and dirty in Den meeting with an 8 yr old stumbling and trying to learn the short Cub Scout Promise? Probably not recently and out of touch. You caught my Distirct completely by surprise. I have been a Commisioner and on Disctrict Committee for the last 3 years and we knew NOTHING of the change until after it was approved. We were never allowed our input to an organization we proudly supported. I have been talking with my children (Son Eagle Scout, Daughters Gold and Silver Awards), my peers, and other Scout Leaders about this change and we do not support the change. Personally, the year 2013 makes 50 years I have been involved in Scouting and with the ill sighted changes described by National, it probably will be the last. I have lived with and acccepted many of the changes National has made over the years to improved the program and I this is one I cannot accept. I need to take a stand and I hope thousands of other take a stand. This change is unacceptable.

    • Melba Ritchie // July 30, 2013 at 5:12 pm // Reply

      I have to agree. You are taking away the identity of the Cub Scout and making him a mini scout. The Cub Scout Promise & Law of the Pack is very specific to Cubs and on a level that they can understand. You are going to have them memorize, say and promise to obey an Oath and Law that they do not fully understand? As a mother of three who has volunteered in schools and led in the Pack for 16 years, I think you are adding in too much stuff above these guys heads. The current steps are geared more for the natural Stages of Development that the boys go thru. I think this is a BIG mistake!

  118. With my Cub Scout/Boy Scout experience I am going to favor with the decision. However, the problem is change is hard. Ideally they all should have been the same from the start but they weren’t. You want to talk about confusion the boys. I started as a leader with my son when he was a Tiger cub. Right away you teach them a Motto (Search, Discover, Share) then they meet with the pack and the Motto is different (Do your best). What’s with that. A few years later when they finally know the Promise like the back of their hand, they enter Webelos where they start teaching the Oath which is sort of like the Cub Scout Promise but just confusingly different. You work on this with your den then go to the pack meeting to be confused by having to know the Promise.

    Now to the Law. The Cub Scout Law was kind of cute but at the same time a nightmare of a poem to memorize. I think very few of the boys actually mastered it by memorization. The 12 elements of the Boy Scout Law are much easier to learn.

    Changing the Oath and Law alone would make the Webelos Program finally fit in. I often felt the program would be much better to separate from Cub Scout and stand on it own. But switching to a common Oath/Law would solve most of the issues that make Webelos such an odd program.

    While programs still need to keep their identify. I think they can still do this with unique salutes, mottos, hand shakes, uniforms, and various other signatures.

  119. Jon Lindsey // May 15, 2013 at 11:44 pm // Reply

    I must say i cannot understand this reasoning. Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are very different programs with very different aims. There are too many that see the CSA as a “feeder system” or a “Junior Boy Scouts”. According to the leader books, CSA is all about “Do Your Best” meaning it is a learning experience. The “Jungle Book” imagery evoked by the Law of the Pack and the Promise are an essential part of getting kids motivated and involved. The BSA’s purpose is to accomplish, thus the motto “Be Prepared”.

    I don’t remember this being on the Scouting survey sent out earlier this year. National is keeping the lines burning with the Membership Policy issue and seems to think they can just slide this one by without input from us, the “Troops on the ground”.

    Survey your Scouts and Scouters, I guarantee the majority will shoot this down.

  120. Bobby Clary // May 16, 2013 at 10:34 am // Reply

    With all this conversation about how hard it will be for the cubs to memorize the Scout Oath and Law I decided to give it a try and presented the Scout Law to my Bears last week.

    We grabbed a pair of dice and depending on what number the dice landed on we would repeat the the Scout Law from the beginning to the point of the dice roll. The scouts not only had the whole thing memorized in about 15 minutes but half of them could tell me exactly what part of the law was 6, 9 or 11. It went so smoothly that we tried the Scout Oath and since it’s close to the Cub Scout Promise once again…no sweat. The scouts were very proud to recite the Boy Scout Oath and Law. It made them feel like they were getting that much closer to becoming Boy Scouts.

    I know none of us like to have more things to do on our plate but please give these boys a little more credit, especially when they can recite every minute detail of their favorite video games with absolute ease.

    • Scouterjim51 // May 16, 2013 at 10:57 am // Reply

      That is the way to teach it. Make it a game and they will eat it up. Do every thing that way and watch their suprise when they pass the requirement and they had fun doing it to boot. Our Crew is doing that and none of them want to do rank advancement. They are having fun and that is what it is all about.

  121. Melba Ritchie // July 30, 2013 at 5:20 pm // Reply

    I have to disagree with this decision You are taking away the identity of the Cub Scout and making him a mini scout. The Cub Scout Promise & Law of the Pack is very specific to Cubs and on a level that they can understand. You are going to have them memorize, say and promise to obey an Oath and Law that they do not fully understand? As a mother of three who has volunteered in schools and led in the Pack for 16 years, I think you are adding in too much stuff above these guys heads. The current steps are geared more for the natural Stages of Development that the boys go thru. The Oath and Law are learned as a Webelo during that transition period to go into Boy Scouts. It is right for that stage in their life. If the little guys grow up hearing the Webelo Scouts recite it after the Cubs do their Promise & Law of the Pack, they look forward to advancement. The Cubs look up to the Webelos and the changes in the program just like the Webelos look up to the Boy Scouts. If you keep taking away things for them to look forward to…there goes your retention in the Scouting program. I think this is a BIG mistake!

  122. My thought is in the Golden Anniversary Book of Scouting published in 1959. Baden-Powell first thought of Junior Scouts. Then he found Rudyard Kipling Jungle book and
    in that first nine chapters he found a tale to hold younger children interest. Read our history. In a time when young boys don’t have transition into manhood unless for other reason. This provided a bridge in manhood when you left the pack to run with older boys, Learn new skills and to show you are ready to learn new ways. In America it was to be not together and not follow the same path as in scouting as in Britain. I’m Eagle Scout and my son who is six. Learned and memorized the Cub Scout promise and the Law of the Pack. He still trying to understand what those words mean to him. To memorize is easy and spit back the information is easy it what the do in school. Learn the test to pass but understand is something different. Look in scout hand book to become a scout current one understand and agree to live by scout oath or promise, law motto and slogan and the outdoor code. In 1960 hand book you had recite it to get your badge not just understand it. It seem to me we have to think of the future of this country and what part will the BSA play in that part. Think of all cub scout books in print that are now out of date. Think of tiger scouts who now will never understand the history of cub scout program and why we use the wolf ears to listen to aklea. As a leader of tigers slip in the 12 points of the Law here and there so they get slowly. Like a scout is clean while the wash hands. Why mess with something that has stood the test of time.

    • Faun Guarino // August 16, 2013 at 11:51 am // Reply

      VERY well stated. While I applaud the 12 points of the scout law replacing the core values, the loss of the cub promise, law of pack, and B-P’s younger scout plan is a huge mistake. I suppose National sees no need for us to continue to teach and plan by “ages and stages…”

  123. As a leader I have been trying to apply the new scout law/promiss to the cubs, so far it has been a little difficult. We see how the new scout law/promiss has stronger values, but it is not as easy to recite.

  124. Larry Perkins // February 15, 2014 at 9:09 am // Reply

    As a Boy Scout Leader, I have no particular opinion about the Oath and Law should becoming universal for Venturers and Cubs; however, as a Boy Scout Leader, a youth mentor, and a parent, I take great issue with a theme that seems to pervade this discussion. Do people actually believe that the Scout Oath and Scout Law are too difficult for Cubs to memorize because Cub Scouts are so young?

    Bunk!

    Cubs are at the upper end of the prime age for memorization! The only reason they have “difficulty” is because the professional educators and child psychologists tell us they will have difficulty — and we, as parents and Scout Leaders, lower our expectations of our youth because we believe these “experts”! We adults are the ones with real memory problems — else how could we have forgotten all the trivial stuff WE memorized as young kids? Oh, wait, we did not forget the ditties and doggerel we absorbed; we just forgot (or never realized) that we had actually memorized anything!

    I was born 56 years ago; my Dad was born 115 years ago. For the those who had trouble memorizing their addition and subtraction tables, that means my Dad came along before Scouting existed. Because of our two-generation time-span, I have something of a unique perspective on how our education has deteriorated in this past century. I can tell you the expectations for children today are much lower than when I was a kid; I can tell you my Dad made the same observation about “lowered expectations” relative to my educational experience.

    Let me focus that perspective on the one recurring objection I read in this thread. I paraphrase it thus, “Young Cub Scouts cannot memorize the ‘twelve points of the Scout Law’ because twelve points are too many!” Huh? Really? Here’s a question, “How do kids that age memorize the ‘twenty-six points’ of the alphabet?”

    Ever read an “ABC Book” to your kid? (Ever read to your kid, period?) If you have done that, you know a three-year-old will often be able to “read” that book right back to you in short order. Sorry, Proud Parent, most who do so are not really reading; they have memorized the book. That is, they committed to memory all twenty-six letters AND the unique vignette that goes with each! Learning the Scout Oath and the Scout Law pales by comparison!

    Here’s a personal anecdote. My third grade class was given the Gettysburg Address to read and learn. The teacher offered a reward to the first person who could stand and recite it perfectly from memory. I won… barely… It took me nearly 10 minutes to commit the entire speech to memory and I was far from the first to stand and recite; just the first who did not transmute “consecrate” into “concentrate.” I still remember the Gettysburg Address; but, funny thing, I do not remember what prize I won.

    Not convinced? Okay, let’s go back and consider the “ABC Song” instead of a book. At least in my day, every kindergartener learned this song — usually in the first couple weeks of school. Guess what? The twelve points of the Scout Law have twenty-six syllables, fewer than twenty-six Letters of the Alphabet contain. Factor in the intro to the Law, “A scout is…” then compare the result to the “ABC Song” with its tag-line attached (“…Now I know my ABCs. Next time won’t you sing with me?”). Guess what? The “ABC Song” is longer, it contains many more syllables, and it contains more “nonsense sounds” too!

    Research has repeatedly shown nonsense syllables more difficult to memorize than actual words. Okay, I can hear the objection, “Oh, but those are ‘letters,’ not ‘nonsense’ sounds!” No, the whole point of the song is to get children familiar with the alphabet; until they attain that familiarity, the letters ARE nonsense sounds — and for some, they apparently remain so… but I digress…

    At least the Scout Law contains actual words that the Cub might have previously encountered. (I would say “has previously encountered” but, sadly, I suspect many have never heard, much less understood, words such as “obedient” before joining Scouting!)

    Still have trouble with the idea that Tigers can memorize the Scout Oath? Set it to music, have them sing it, and see what happens!

    YIS!

13 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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  6. BSA to use Scout Oath and Scout Law for all programs | Boy Scouts on Staten Island, NY
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