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Standardization of Badges
By Baden Powell

In view of a very elaborate curriculum that was recently drawn up by
one authority for standardizing the test for badges, I was obliged to
criticize it in the sense:

"I hope that the compilers are not losing sight the aim and spirit of
the Movement by making it into a training school of efficiency through
curricula marks, and standards.

"Our aim is merely to help the boys, especially the least scholarly
ones, to become personally enthused in subjects that appeal to them
individually, and that will be helpful to them.

"We do this through the fun and jollity of Scouting; by progressive
states they can be led on naturally and unconsciously, to develop
for themselves their knowledge.

"But if once we make it into a formal scheme of serious instruction
for efficiency, we miss the whole point and value of the Scout
training, and we trench the work of the schools without the trained
experts for carrying it out.

"We have to remember that Scoutmasters are voluntary play leaders in
the game of Scouting, and not qualified school teachers, and to give
them a hard-and-fast syllabus is to check the ardor and their
originality in dealing with their boys according to local conditions.

"I could quite imagine it frightening away many Scoutmasters of the
right sort.

"The syllabus as suggested seems to go a good deal beyond what is
prescribed as our dose in Scouting For Boys; and if the proportions
of the ingredients in a prescriptions are not adhered to you can not
well blame the doctor if the medicine doesn't work.

"Our standard for badge earning -- as I have frequently said -- is
not to attain a certain level of quality of work ( as in school ),
but the AMOUNT OF EFFORT EXERCISED BY THE INDIVIDUAL CANDIDATE. This brings the most hopeless case on a footing of
equal possibility with his more brilliant or better-off brother.

"We want to get them ALL along through cheery self development from
within and not through the imposition of formal instruction from
without."


Baden-Powell's OUTLOOK
November, 1921