rewards and incentives
Don Izard (IZARD@UBVM.BITNET)
Mon, 10 Jun 1991 09:03:21 EDT
I have waited a while to reflect on the discussions on rewards and
incentives as motivators in the scouting program. I guess, that if
there was a PUBLISHed rule and oportunity for the scout to meet
the rule, and he made no reasonalbe effort, then he MUST/should be
excluded. I just don't like the atificial "rewards" or incentives
that some units seem to be using to get scouts to advance. The
Rank awarded at a decent ceremony should be reward and incentive
enough. Exluding a scout that has earned some share of the funds
for an event is not correct, in my opinion.
I just spent an Ordeal work weekend with the Order of the Arrow.
One of the main goals, was to get the camp set up for summer camp.
In morning crews were set at the tasks to get the basic equipment
repaired, and the correct number of tents, stakes and poles to
each site. My crew spent the morning loading and unloading tent
platforms, to get the correct number and type at each site. (some
site had "out rigger" platforms, others did not etc.) Anyway, after
lunch each crew was assigned two camp sites to complete. That included
the correct number of tents, set up on LEVEL platforms, picnic tables
arranged, and the site site up such that the site could be mowed and
otherwise maintained. Now, to try to "motivate" already tied socuts
to do a "better" job, the camp chief offered to buy a PIZZA for the
crew on the site judged as the "BEST". Each site did not have the
same number of tents, some needed to have stakes driven, and some
were "much" farther away than others. Well my crew went pizza crazy,
they ran to the frist site and got started, layed out all the platforms,
set out poles, moved picnic tables, but found no tents! Sent two scouts
to HQ to notify about missing tents, while the rest hiked to the next site.
This site was called Creekside, and half of the site is on very rocky soil.
And this site had 16 tent platforms, but only 15 ridge poles, and 14 of the
correct size tents, and about 10 stakes were broken on rocks! SO, we
sent more scouts back for tents, and equipment. But we never got enough
ridge poles or stakes to complete the site, and the tents at the other
site had finally showed up. SO we went back to complete the other site.
All in all, we set up 31 out of 32 tents on nice level platforms, cleaned
fire pits, arranged tables, moved rocks etc, at both sites. On the way
back, I was talking with the other crew leaders about the work completed.
We were the only crew to get most of both sites as complete, we would have
been finished if we could have got the equipment in time. I figured with
most of the other crew leaders, that there better be Pizza for everyone!
These kids had worked hard, on a hot day. (except for the crew that spent
the entire day in the swim lake, working on a couple docks.!)
Well then came the time for the site judging! And to my extreeme surprize,
a site WON the Pizza, whose crew had only done ONE site. They decided they
could do a better job, if they worked hard on only one site! One other crew
chief went and bought pizza for his crew himself, and then left camp! I
didn't have the money with me, or I would have done the same.
To end this story, I think Scouting has it's own rewards and incentives
built in to the program. When you try to create artificial incentives
or rewards, you may loose site of the true goal of the program. Those
that know about the OA ordeal, would know why we worked all day, and it
wasn't supposed to be for a Pizza. Many scouts worked at least as hard,
and in my opinion, many worked much harder, with not much to eat. For
the crew that only completed ONE site, to get the pizza, didn't show
the rest of the scouts the correct example, again my opinion. If you
create these artificial "rewards", you are not doing anything to really
help the program. There will be no NEXT time for the "loosers", since
no one repeats an OA Odeal.
More opinions welcome! Don Izard
still scouting, since '57
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City