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Gold Medal of Achievement..by the numbers

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Gold Medal of Achievement..by the numbers

Post by ccm2361 on October 18th 2014, 8:15 pm

I was talking to Dan on the phone the other day & we were talking about the Gold Medal (Hereafter GMA) One of the listed reasons for revamping the program back in 2008 was the low # of GMA's being issued.
Since stats were made a secret in 2010, we haven't much to go on. But what about GMA #s? they are available & here are the last 15 years worth:
Year.....# of GMA's issued
1999.....196
2000.....222
2001.....281
2002.....362
2003.....399
2004.....309
2005.....102
2006.....162
2007.....255
2008.....255
2009.....233
2010.....210
2011.....428
2012.....595  (last year Marriott era advancement could be used)
2013.....123
2014.....129 (as of August 2nd)

I knew 2012 was going to be a big year but wow


Last edited by ccm2361 on October 18th 2014, 8:17 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Gold Medal of Achievement..by the numbers

Post by ccm2361 on October 18th 2014, 8:17 pm

The numbers show about what I expected (except for 2012)  shows a general decline since 2003 (except for the "Gold Rush" years of 2011 & 12)
Expected a dramatic drop in 2013, but was surprised to see a slight uptick in 2014 Cool

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Re: Gold Medal of Achievement..by the numbers

Post by RRCmdrBennett on October 19th 2014, 11:39 am

CoG might explain a slight uptick

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Re: Gold Medal of Achievement..by the numbers

Post by ccm2361 on October 19th 2014, 3:22 pm

Shouldn't be.
Church of God hasn't been using Rangers long enough to produce a GMA winner

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Re: Gold Medal of Achievement..by the numbers

Post by joecool on October 19th 2014, 6:21 pm

ccm2361 wrote: I knew 2012 was going to be a big year but wow

And with the exception of an anomaly in 2005, our GMA numbers are on a par with some year in the last millennium. Tell me again how the new program was supposed to make the GMA more accessible to boys?

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Re: Gold Medal of Achievement..by the numbers

Post by ccm2361 on October 19th 2014, 9:39 pm

check out this thread

The changing face of the GMA

today's GMA takes only 51% of the work it took 6 years ago

I guess the theory being: if it takes less work, more people will do it & they can sell more medals.

  But most (even the Rangers) know its been watered down

And its not just the GMA, but the whole advancement system (Except Ranger Kids) thumbs down

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Re: Gold Medal of Achievement..by the numbers

Post by Mark Jones on October 21st 2014, 7:24 am

I think after 13 years of chasing after the GMA and still only at best 3% getting it out of all the RR in the program getting it... I think finally they have realized it may not be the merit driven life the boys are after.

They asked me 2 weeks ago do you want to teach a merit? I said whats the point. These boys are not interested in the GMA. They all have the FCF merits, They just want to have fun and a challenge. Look over at the youth building packed full of people hanging out and having fun.

I at one time thought... make it count. Every event, meeting has to have some benefit towards a merit... foo foo.
Let them have fun. Teach them something they are interest in and get them good at it.

Merits have their place and are fun to teach. Yet I would rather teach them skills and charecter building.

I think the new leadership realizes this as well.

Let's draw the 97% that don't care about the GMA and help the 3% that want the gma get it on the side. Much more successful process.

Mark Jones

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Re: Gold Medal of Achievement..by the numbers

Post by strods on October 21st 2014, 11:06 pm

Mark Jones wrote:I think after 13 years of chasing after the GMA and still only at best 3% getting it out of all the RR in the program getting it... I think finally they have realized it may not be the merit driven life the boys are after.  

They asked me 2 weeks ago do you want to teach a merit?  I said whats the point.  These boys are not interested in the GMA.  They all have the FCF merits,  They just want to have fun and a challenge.  Look over at the youth building packed full of people hanging out and having fun.  

I at one time thought... make it count.  Every event, meeting has to have some benefit towards a merit... foo foo.  
Let them have fun. Teach them something they are interest in and get them good at it.  

Merits have their place and are fun to teach.  Yet I would rather teach them skills and charecter building.

I think the new leadership realizes this as well.  

Let's draw the 97% that don't care about the GMA and help the 3% that want the gma get it on the side.  Much more successful process.

Mark Jones


I'd say I'm somewhere between advancement focus and fellowship focus, though I say that meaning neither are bad options. I fully state this is a per Outpost if not per Ranger situation.

Also, I have the highest respect for the JB process, but I never experienced it. I started my tour in the Marriot years of bible and skill merit every month and 8 of those for an annual advancement. I didn't have a problem with that but will fully agree that it tended to an outpost Advancement focus.

The 2012 revision to a skill merit every 2 mths and 4 of those for a year, I feel, lightens the load tremendously, but I agree, can very much "water down" the value of those achievements.

So as I often do and often recommend, I sat down and read and critically thought about all the current guidelines. And here is what I decided, and pardon my passion on this:
1. Every medal and every merit requires 2 magic words = "Commander approval" If I feel our outpost would benefit by adding a few requirements, and my pastor is backing me, there is no National Requirement overruling me.
2. If National has set new minimums and our Outpost exceeds them, where are the complaints going to come from again?
3. If we are "comparatively aggressive", generally meaning sticking to the Marriot schedule, but the minimum are still acceptable, what have I created for the outpost . . .
Freedom, freedom and flexibility.

A few examples,
One thing I like is for the merits that deserve it like Genesis or First Aid, if I want more time on it, I take it. "I can only choose 5 lessons out of Genesis? What? I don't think so. "

Or for surprises.
We had finished our Wildlife/Nature study merit and one of my Commanders brought in what we dubbed "the box of death". A collection of animal furs, skins, antler, bones, etc.
He said he thought it would be cool. It would be cool, but it wasn't on my schedule. On that night we supposed to start our Emergency Prep merit. Said so on my calendar. I planned it, it was the plan. Now what's a commander supposed to do?

You better darn well believe that plan went right out the window. That box of death was cool, and the whole outpost circled round as our most knowledgeable commander in the subject just shared and passed everything out. Everyone from RK to ER was eyes wide open and smiling. Now am I worried about being a week behind? HA!

3rd example A couple weeks back the children's church coord. caught me and in that oh so sweet but she really, REALLY, meant it. Asked if the storage area could get cleaned up shortly. Now how am I going to fit that into the schedule, I have a schedule to keep!

Naaa! Oh boys, tonight you earn some Christian Service hours for FCF.

I know we can, and likely will, always compare now to history, and there will be different opinions of the good old days. To me though, the biggest issue is the boys, and now young men who keep showing up every Wednesday, whether I like it or not. I feel I have a duty to RTK them, and will use every stinking tool, asset, book, concept, blessing, or wacky idea I can lay my hands on or build myself if it means I get to keep doing that a little longer with them.
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Re: Gold Medal of Achievement..by the numbers

Post by RRCmdrBennett on October 21st 2014, 11:25 pm

Strods, that is one thing about the new system Chris and I discussed it seems designed to be easy on the full year outpost and works for 3 qtr yr outposts if they do it on the Marriott schedule. I asked John Hicks if that was the rationale he denied it but it seems obvious. I doubt he lie but maybe Doug had that in mind but didn't state the reason.

I think you are combining the best of both worlds old and new school. I loved the old way but knew if I was going to get gold medal it was on me to track my progress and get things done for most part. Sure we did merits aka advanced awards but they weren't needed till you were over 50% of the way through the chevrons. I've mused a few times to the boys how back in the day I created my own workbook on a monochrome word processor or electric typewriter, had no internet as we know it today, or cmdrs with laptops tracking my progress on Navigator or Mark's Royal Rangers database.

Its good to hear that you divert off schedule for the "cool box of death" its what the boys will remember you for the most!

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Re: Gold Medal of Achievement..by the numbers

Post by joecool on October 24th 2014, 8:36 am

Do GMA awardees still receive a presidential letter/card? Or was RR dropped because of our continued stand against homosexuality?

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Re: Gold Medal of Achievement..by the numbers

Post by Mark Jones on October 25th 2014, 12:42 pm

Why would you want a letter from Obama? In the event you do the Commander sends in a request for one. Nothing is automatic. Same goes for the Hse and Sen. Best do it months in advance.

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Re: Gold Medal of Achievement..by the numbers

Post by Mark Jones on October 25th 2014, 12:44 pm

Hi Dan. I don't track the merit steps in the Ranger Database. I use a pencil and paper that looks like a spreadsheet for that. Just pencil it in. The boys that do complete a merit I do record the completed merits in the database.

Mark Jones


RRCmdrBennett wrote:Strods, that is one thing about the new system Chris and I discussed it seems designed to be easy on the full year outpost and works for 3 qtr yr outposts if they do it on the Marriott schedule. I asked John Hicks if that was the rationale he denied it but it seems obvious. I doubt he lie but maybe Doug had that in mind but didn't state the reason.

I think you are combining the best of both worlds old and new school. I loved the old way but knew if I was going to get gold medal it was on me to track my progress and get things done for most part. Sure we did merits aka advanced awards but they weren't needed till you were over 50% of the way through the chevrons. I've mused a few times to the boys how back in the day I created my own workbook on a monochrome word processor or electric typewriter, had no internet as we know it today, or cmdrs with laptops tracking my progress on Navigator or Mark's Royal Rangers database.

Its good to hear that you divert off schedule for the "cool box of death" its what the boys will remember you for the most!    
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Re: Gold Medal of Achievement..by the numbers

Post by RRCmdrBennett on October 25th 2014, 9:44 pm

joecool wrote:Do GMA awardees still receive a presidential letter/card? Or was RR dropped because of our continued stand against homosexuality?

No the Obama admin cites "separation of church and state". Buttt I sent a request to GW Bush and got a letter back. It surprised people when I read it from Bush and not Obama lol.

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Re: Gold Medal of Achievement..by the numbers

Post by joecool on October 26th 2014, 12:45 pm

RRCmdrBennett wrote: But I sent a request to GW Bush and got a letter back. It surprised people when I read it from Bush and not Obama lol.

Now that's thinking outside the box. Well done!

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Re: Gold Medal of Achievement..by the numbers

Post by RRCmdrBennett on October 26th 2014, 11:02 pm

joecool wrote:
RRCmdrBennett wrote: But I sent a request to GW Bush and got a letter back. It surprised people when I read it from Bush and not Obama lol.

Now that's thinking outside the box. Well done!

Thanks. I was hoping it would be Romney but took Bush.

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LTC LMA 5/94, Ranger Basics 1/05, LTA LMA 5/05, NTC IL 5/09, WCO 10/09, ICS 4/10, RKTC 7/10, Ranger Essentials 8/10, NRMC 10/11,
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LMA-Advanced 10/11, MoE 2012-092

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Re: Gold Medal of Achievement..by the numbers

Post by ccm2361 on October 27th 2014, 5:24 pm

Mark Jones wrote:I think after 13 years of chasing after the GMA and still only at best 3% getting it out of all the RR in the program getting it... I think finally they have realized it may not be the merit driven life the boys are after.  

They asked me 2 weeks ago do you want to teach a merit?  I said whats the point.  These boys are not interested in the GMA.  They all have the FCF merits,  They just want to have fun and a challenge.  Look over at the youth building packed full of people hanging out and having fun.  

I at one time thought... make it count.  Every event, meeting has to have some benefit towards a merit... foo foo.  
Let them have fun. Teach them something they are interest in and get them good at it.  

Merits have their place and are fun to teach.  Yet I would rather teach them skills and charecter building.

I think the new leadership realizes this as well.  

Let's draw the 97% that don't care about the GMA and help the 3% that want the gma get it on the side.  Much more successful process.

Mark Jones


Mark is as usual the voice of wisdom
I realize, advancement is not the end all/be all for Rangers.

Right now, I have 4 Rangers. 3 of the 4 want to advance. They want to wear that shiny medal.
If it's important to them, then it's important to me & I do what I can to help them get the merits.

I have had kids in the past who don't care about advancing & are only there to have fun. That's ok too, I make sure they all have some fun.

I used to be all about advancement. I still think a sense of achievement is important, but If they don't care about advancing, I try not to care either.

Our priorities for meetings are:
1 Hear the Word
2 Learn something
3 Have fun

And its done in that order

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Re: Gold Medal of Achievement..by the numbers

Post by sreidelberger on October 30th 2014, 4:08 pm

ccm2361 wrote:
Our priorities for meetings are:
1 Hear the Word
2 Learn something
3 Have fun

And its done in that order


Thumbs up

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