Awards Chairman Woes
lollman karen j (lollma@ACC.WUACC.EDU)
Tue, 2 Aug 1994 23:46:02 -0500
On Tue, 2 Aug 1994, Gibbons-CIC-IS wrote:
We are having a problem with our awards chairperson. Just plain and simple,
she cheats. We have yet to have a pack meeting when her son did not recieve
more awards by far than any other boy there. I am her son's den leader (wolf
transitioning to bear) and pratically very month at the pack meeting I was not
so pleaseantly "surprised" by the belt loops and arrow points that this child
We have had leaders meetings about this over the summer and have decided to
replace her. We are instilling very specific criteria for belt loops and
putting much stronger restraints on advancement award procedure.
My question to y'all is how do I handle this, this year. I feel very strongly
that I as den leader will be put in the situation of having to question whether
or not this boy earnestly completed the requirements for his badge and arrow
points. I confronted her last year when her son miraculously completed 10 of
the wolf achievements in 3 days. I don't want to lose the boy, but I don't
want to put up with his mother for another year. I don't know what to tell the
other boys when they don't understand why when they're working so hard, this
child walks away with everything!
All suggestions will be appreciated!
As a den leader of this age group, you must accept the fact that you
lead, not judge. I agree whole-heartedly with your feelings,
nevertheless. I saw the same thing happen with one of my boys. I check
books once a month, and put out quarterly advancement reports to help
parents keep up with where their kids are on the trail to the next
award. I also make suggestions as to which achievement requirements
might be easier to complete for their child, or more challenging to
complete if the child needs more of a challenge.
One mother took her son from 0 achievements towards bear, through needing
only 3 more to complete in one month! (The dated signatures were all
there in the book). She included family camping (and it was December
with snow, and I -*know*- they didn't go...they were at a skating party I
was also at.) I talked to the council professionals and they suggested I
redouble my efforts and that we spend some time talking about the
promise, etc. The "prof.s" suggested that it was unfortunate the boy was
willing to accept a badge he hadn't truly earned, and that the mother was
more interested in appearances than in substance, but we do what we can.
Our program was not harmed by their action.
Without singling out the boy, I asked the den to tell what they though
the promise meant to them. I also asked each of them to talk about
how they set their goal, chose which achievement to work on next,
and how they felt as they saw their achievements accumulate. Each of the
hard working boys took a great deal of pride in his achievements. The
boys who weren't "earning" through hard work, (as in doing the easy
stuff, and just enough to get by) didn't have very much to say, but they
paid alot of attention. The boy who hadn't "earned" anything, but had
the most completed achievements mumbled something about my mom chooses
mine for me, and didn't have anything else to say. After our
"discussion", I asked each of the boys to use one of the selection
techniques the others had shared with the group, and to write down his
"plan of action" for completing his bear requirements. I also asked them to
bring it to the next meeting, so I could plan the next few meetings
around their mutual goals. Boy did this make a difference!
The *BOY* in question really threw himself into the planning and goal
setting. Come to find out, the boy had been trying to work on stuff all
along and *MOM* brushed him off, never had time, etc. Now she couldn't.
She had to make time, and he benefited greatly! Two years later, he is
still writing a plan of action, and she has become a real strong
supporter of the program. She (a single mom) has a son in Boy Scouts,
and one preparing for Bear. She says all three of them use the
technique, and have managed to get Dad more involved, too.
Do your best to emphasize the scouting values, and *hopefully* everything
else will fall into place! This is a great way to bring in "Ethics in
Action" (lying, cheating, stealing, etc.).
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City