Scoutmaster Musings - Summer Advancement

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Scoutmaster Musings

Summer Advancement
boy scout advancement Many of the requirements to advance from Scout to First Class can be done any place at any time. A few work much better during the summer than winter. Repeating the Scout Oath or describing a cyberbully can be done at a troop meeting in December, but identifying 10 native plants is much more difficult in January than June for most parts of the country.

I encourage scouts to accomplish the following 'summer' requirements as soon as possible so they aren't stuck in their advancement trail waiting to do one requirement over the winter.

The cooking requirements can be very difficult and discouraging when the temperature is below freezing. Animals are more abundant and active in summer. It's more enjoyable to be hiking in nice weather rather than through a foot of snow.

It's 'possible' to do all the requirements except one at any time of the year, but planning ahead can make it more enjoyable. I believe enjoying the outing is more important than advancing.

That one requirement that I don't think can be done at any time is identifying poisonous plants. When the plants have died off and are covered with snow, it can't be done. I've heard of letting scouts point to a picture of poison ivy. I've heard of letting them just describe what poison ivy looks like. This doesn't seem to meet the goal of the requirement to me, which I feel is to be able to recognize and avoid these plants in the wild.

Have you any ways to let scouts identify poisonous plants when they are not actively growing and visible?

Scout On
Posted: 10:23 07-10-2011 641
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