aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

This is officially ridiculous

Those of you who do Scouting know that the paperwork only ever gets more cumbersome. Our happy Crew did a little conservation project on Sunday. Here's what follows from that.

1. Because Venturing advancement now is geared, in part, to service hours, I keep an Excel file on our Crew's service projects and what hours everybody worked.

2. Because BSA wants to be able to brag about how-all it serves the nation, it wants all BSA units to report every service project and all the hours worked therein. The Council gets griped at if they don't gripe at us, so as a good loyalist, I report every steenking service project on the website.

3. But wait -- the Order of the Arrow lodge has to gather the same info on what-all their Arrowmen do in order to qualify for brownie points on their Journey to Excellence evaluation, so I've been asked to break out the hours worked by all the Arrowmen in the Crew and submit that to yet another person tasked with gathering those hours.

4. And because BSA has invented these jazzy new National Outdoor Badges (which don't count for rank, mind you -- they're just for bragging rights) -- and which, of course, my Venturers want -- I have to note the conservation hours worked for the youth under the Conservation category. (There are also categories of Camping, Hiking, Aquatics, Riding, and "Adventure," each of which requires us to keep track of nights, miles, hours, or outings in one way or another.)

5. On top of all this, this particular project was for one Venturer's Hornaday medal, which is a whole 'nother level of byoorockacy.

All this for a project in which, other than setup, some eight people spent less than two hours. At what point is this just too freaking much to keep track of? BSA is sinking under the weight of awards of questionable value, thinking that it will attract and hold the attention of kids. My feeling is, the quality of the experiences we offer should easily overmatch the badges we give for them, and if they don't then we have bigger problems than we'd like to admit to ourselves.

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