lollman karen j (lollma@ACC.WUACC.EDU)
Thu, 30 Jun 1994 15:34:19 -0500
The Derby committee asked me to be the MC and fill time between heats,
etc., so before the races started, and after the opening...I asked the
group of boys "How many of you, before you left home, or on the way to
the races, were told by your parents 'not everyone can win. If your car
doesn't finish first, be a good sport.'?" Every kids hand shot up.
Every adult looked around sheepishly before bursting out laughing. Then
I asked the next question..."how many of you think you won't win?" Only
one boy raised his hand. Once again, everyone laughed. The boy who
didn't think he would win made it to the final round, and left with a
The main message here is kids are eternal optimists. They truly believe
they will succeed in everything they do. The notion of failure is
learned, not instinctive. Life teaches them the concept of "failure".
Scouts can give them the tools to avoid "failure", and the skills to cope
with "less than desired results".
Tools to avoid failure...realistic goals, planning, preparing, doing
one's best. Coping skills...analysis, testing, redefining goals,
As Scouters we need to encourage development of personal skills, and let
parents know activities such as Pinewood Derbies are held to develop the
child's skills, and to give them the opportunity to use the skills they
are developing. I'd be willing to bet the parents who raise hell are
much more concerned about being embarrased by their child's reaction
than they are about their child's reaction.
We can work around such parents, but we can't eliminate them...only try
to undo the harm they cause. After all, we're here for the kids, right!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City