Questions about Chief Scout's Award

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Roxybeaver1
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Questions about Chief Scout's Award

Post by Roxybeaver1 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:06 pm

I spent a couple of hours doing some most interesting reading about all sorts of things while looking for insight into the Chief Scout's Award.

I am a Cub leader with a son in Troop and I want to push him a little. Then again, I also recognize that this is where I should start letting go and let him develop his independence.

But when I look at the "challenge badges" some of them are quite challenging, equal to what kids would be covering in school. Then when I looked at the requirements for the CSA, I am floored by the amount of work and commitment they require. Wow.

I am not saying that our kids should not be challenged - they should! My son enjoys the program and is happy just to attend and learn on the way, but like I said, I think a little encouragement to push him a little can't hurt either to do better, to do his best, to do more...

My question is, how involved are parents for these badges and for CSA? Is it appropriate to nudge a little or leave it entirely up to him? I don't want to be a "stage mom" but at the same time, there are opportunities for him to excel that I think he could try for. I left it up to him for Cubs and well, barely any badges were earned and only one star got put on that sash!

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SteveMatheson
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Re: Questions about Chief Scout's Award

Post by SteveMatheson » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:38 am

I varies, of course, but I am a fan of a three-way partnership on this. The youth, the leadership team, and the parent(s). In theory the youth only approach should work, but in my experience without the guidance and support of the leadership, and the support and encouragement of parents, youth success is rare.

Youth often easily get overwhelmed looking at the totality of the requirements. If they instead focus on the steps along the way, it goes much easier.

Focus on becoming a Voyageur Scout http://wiki.scouts.ca/en/Voyageur_Scout_Award, then next year focus on becoming a Pathfinder Scout http://wiki.scouts.ca/en/Pathfinder_Scout_Award. Good luck along the path to success!
Steve Matheson
Group Commissioner, 3rd Eastern Passage
Nova Scotia

Angus Bickerton
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Re: Questions about Chief Scout's Award

Post by Angus Bickerton » Mon May 26, 2014 11:39 am

+1 ^ on what Steve said. It is a three-way partnership. As a Scout Counsellor myself, I encourage our youth on a regular basis. I have sent emails to youth to show them how close they are to earning their Voyageur Scout Award or Pathfinder Award. I sent one Scout the requirement sheet made by his church for the Religion in Life Award.

With my own kids, I encourage them and willingly work with them on stuff. It is fun, and it is stuff you have to do anyway. My son is a 3rd year cub, and my daughter a 3rd years scout. Each has a lot of badges, because they and I and his mother do stuff together. I find that the badges are an "excuse" to do things with your kids. Have to get the yard ready for spring? Perfect opportunity to do the Gardening Badge or the Soil and Water Management badge. You just talk about it and teach it, and then say: hey, you know you just about completed "x" badge, why not go and test for it this week. The response is usually "really? cool."

At the scout level, there must be buy-in from the youth. As a parent, the job is to encourage and be supportive, but don't force them. A lot of the badges are geared to activities that they have to do anyway at home, school or in other activities, so they are geared to be "gettable".

I find that if they don't know that they are working on a badge, it goes better. I'm sneaky like that, though.

As for the CSA, that is special. The Scout who earns their CSA must show that extra resolve to earn it, in my view. I have heard of troops that if you are there for 4 years and participate, you get your CSA. I think that defeats the purpose of the CSA. You start with the 3-way partnership, but then the youth has to choose to really go for the CSA. Getting their Pathfinder is not difficult if they participate, but the CSA requires a lot of work outside of scout meetings and events. I'll give the youth the opportunity and the platform, but they have to choose to go for the CSA. We can't do it for them.
Angus Bickerton
Troop Scouter
Brockville Troop
1st Brockville Group Committee
1st Gilwell 2011 (Colony) 2013 (Pack)

There is no armour made that can withstand the truth - Karsa Orlong

gordtulloch
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Re: Questions about Chief Scout's Award

Post by gordtulloch » Fri May 30, 2014 1:54 pm

In our Troop we've had maybe two CSA's in the past 5 years, probably both Leaders kids. At a recent awards ceremony I witnessed *8* Scouts/Vents from the same group get their CSA!! This tells me it's possible!

I just moved over the the Troop mid-year from a very successful Cub program to help fix a bit of a malaise where the youth weren't really achieving much, and we were bleeding youth. Given that we had 8 very enthusiastic Cubs Jumping Up, the Scout program needed to keep them engaged! Some of the stuff that seems to be working for us are:

- Spend some evenings in your program breaking your youth down into Pioneer (ie working towards Voyageur requirements) Pathfinder and CSA subgroups (which probably don't correspond to patrols) and work on their stuff as a group at meetings
- Assign homework! Communicate same to the Parents (we use ScoutTracker so it's easy) so they know the Scout is doing a certain requirement. If they don't do it, whatever, but at least we're helping them divide and conquer the requirements. They need to find the motivation themselves.
- I send PDFs of the outstanding requirements for the given level home so parents who don't bother to log into ScoutTracker (many) have something to wave at their kid when they claim to be bored.
- Keep verbal reports to a minimum. Yes, I know that a lot of requirements say "Present to your troop or patrol" but frankly by the 5th time a National War Memorial presentation bores the kids silly. We let the kids submit this kind of stuff in writing or verbally (even in email this time of year when meeting time is being spent outdoors on bottle drives, canoeing etc.) so they are more motivated to get it done. Some stuff will need to be presented (especially when it's not all that common)

We now have our three oldest Scouts (all finishing their second year) quickly racking up Voyageur requirements after doing very little their first two years, and all three are talking about setting goals to get their CSA. They've even signed up to spend a weekend getting their St. Johns First Aid! And it's rubbing off on the younger Scouts as well.
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YIS - Gord, Troop Scouter 1st Southdale Winnipeg

Roxybeaver1
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Re: Questions about Chief Scout's Award

Post by Roxybeaver1 » Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:28 pm

In my son's troop, several of them this year earned Chief's Scout. This is great! But my son had no idea - now, he does space out but his listening is pretty good. I find it sad (for him) that he had no clue what these senior scouts were working on (they were doing it as a team) which could serve as inspiration to others.

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