(no name) ((no email))
Thu, 6 Jun 1991 12:31:00 EDT
I seem to be hearing (reading) two thoughts here that I wish to get clarified.
One thought is that "scouts are in the program to go camping, hiking, etc.
and NOT as "merit badge factories" since they do not retain what they learned
(or was supposed to learn) through the process."
The other thought is that "A Troop should not qualify attendance at specific
events in terms of advancement or subadvancement tasks (i.e., earning four
merit badges or skill awards (when we had them)".
I do agree that we are not running "merit badge factories" but I think that
those expressing that feeling are missing a significant point: The merit
badge program was NOT designed to give Scouts an education on a certain
subject (American Business, for example). It was designed to ONE, expose the
Scout to people in that career field and reinforce that adult (male) association
(which is one of the methods of Scouting); TWO, to serve as a outlet for
further education beyone the completion of requirements for the badge (as in
going to college, trade school, etc.) and THREE, to strengthem the Scout
through his perservance in earning the award. Many MB requirements are
structured so that the Scout cannot "whizz right through them" on a given
afternoon and requires thought, leadership, research and yes, outdoor
experiences outside the Troop. For those reasons, I agree with the
Troop Committee by saying that unless a Scout has had a significant
amount out "outside Scouting activity" with the program (by earning the
merit badges) he cannot go. Again, since this was a longstanding policy
and not one "created" for this specific trip, I am sure that all parties
KNEW of this requirement and have met them in the past.
The policy for attendance at special events should be first left to the youth
members(remember whos program this is??) and then approved or refined by the Tro
ops's Committee and Scoutmaster. National Jamboree attendance for years have
been based on meeting Second class requirements at least. This was not done
to restrict the younger Scouts..rather it was done to make the Jamboree
experience something to work up toward. If we allowed EVERYONE to go to
a national event like that, then the event would not mean a thing to those
not participating ("Hey, I would have went. My dad/Mom don't make enought for
me to go"). If a youth wants to go bad enough, he/she will find the way to
do it. The most interesting story told to me about this subject is the one
about Randy Hall, of Chicago. He wanted to go to the 77 Jamboree (at Moraine
State Park) but could not afford the $475.00 the Council charged. So he
went to a bank, talked the branch manager to loan him the money to go on one
condition: that he matches cent for cent the full amount plus interest before
he departed. This young man bussed at resturants, took out groceries, cut lawns.
He washed cars, cleaned windows, and ran errands for two businesses in his
neighborhood. He earned $600.00 and when he presented the final payment to the
branch manager, the bank payed his way and deposited the money he earned into
a savings account there. Randy now works for Continential Bank of Chicago.
He showed the people there that he wanted to go bad...very bad...to something
that he prized.
If the Scout wanted to go on the trip, give him a chance to excel, give him
help and let him at it. If he doesn't even try, then that should be a sign
that even though he loves the camping aspect of Scouting, Scouting IS also
working for the things you want to do.....and NOT being handed everything
simply because, as I stated in a previous comment, "because he's only a (boy)
As Don mentioned, we only see the one side and like him, I would hate to
decide on something like this without having the ol' Personal Growth
Agreement (Scoutmaster's) Conference with him....and his parents.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City