Grouping Standards




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Six Principles of Boy-Work
Grouping Standards
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The Scout Master will find it greatly to his advantage to group his boys according to some standard. Unfortunately ,all standards, so far,. are more or less artificial, but approximate success may be secured by using the experience of boy workers in various parts of the country.  

The standard which is most generally used is that of age. It is also the most unsatisfactory.  Boys mature physically rather than chronologically. This makes the age standard a poor guess, because a boy may be physically fourteen when he is chronologically eleven, and vice versa. If the age standard be used, it would be preferable to group all the boys of twelve years together, then the thirteen-year old boys in another group, and the same with the fourteen, the fifteen, the sixteen, and the seventeen-year old boys. 

This would be rather hard to do in small places, although perfectly feasible in a larger town or city.  Because of its impossibility as far as the rural districts are concerned, it might be well to divide the years from twelve to eighteen into three standards, twelve to fourteen, fourteen to sixteen, and sixteen to eighteen. 

The age grouping, however, will never be reliable in achieving results. The height and weight standard is more scientifically correct than the age standard, although it has not been tested out enough to warrant any authoritative declaration in its favor. 

If this method is used for grouping, the standards for athletic competition among the boys might be used, that is, all the boys of ninety pounds and under might be put together, the same being true for those under one hundred and ten, one hundred and twenty-five, and one hundred and forty pounds. 

If height is used, boys of fifty-six and a half inches in height and classifying under ninety pounds in weight, might be grouped together. Also boys of sixty-three inches in height and coming within the one hundred and ten pound weight. 

This standard will doubtless become the real basis of all groupings in the future, but as yet it needs more demonstration in order that the various classifications may be made accurately. 

A simple and rather satisfactory way of grouping is by the, school boy or wage-earning boy standard. If the boy happens to be in the grammar school, he may be grouped with boys of his own educational advancement; so with the boys who are in the secondary or high schools, and the same may be said of working boys who are forced to earn their own livelihood.  

Possibly the best and most satisfactory way of grouping boys is by their interest. Some boys will be mutually interested in collecting stamps, riding a bicycle, forming a mounted patrol, working with wireless, in music and orchestra work, etc., and boys grouped according to such kindred interests as they manifest has proven most satisfactory in general boys' work. 

Problems of Boy-Handling Simplified by Natural Standard Grouping. 

Grouping the boys according to natural standards makes the problem of handling them much simpler. Boys between twelve and fourteen are in the age of authority, and the word of the Scout Master will settle most difficulties that arise. 

Boys between fourteen and sixteen are in the age of experience and an opportunity must be given the boys to check up what they are told by what they are experiencing. 

Between twelve and fourteen, authority may be rigid. Between fourteen and sixteen, it must be giving way to reason. Authority will still continue to settle the boys' disputes but it will be the authority, that gives reasons for its action. 

Boys between the ages of sixteen and eighteen years can only be handled on the basis of cooperation. They have passed from the stage of blindly  following what they are told. They have experience enough to know that they are able to do things themselves, and they have discovered enough things to give them a basis of doing thing's on their own account. The way to handle boys rightly in  this group will be by tactful suggestion and cooperation on the part of a Scout Master.

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.