Re: Grades and Leadership
Gary Sherwin (sherwin@SUNSHINE.PGH.WEC.COM)
Wed, 7 Dec 1994 09:00:58 EST
> Bob Condon writes :
> > I would not allow this individual to be in the Greenbar until
> > his grades came up to at least C. Where are his parents? If my child
> > was doing this poorly in school, he would not be attending the scout
> > meetings either.
> Ian N Ford writes:
> And by so doing we have excluded a fair proportion of our Scouts from
> leadership positions , and <de facto> from attaining Eagle Scout rank.
> I dropped out of the equivalent of High School with first year grades
> of D,G and H. I'm not pround of that ... but last week at age forty I
> visited a psychologist and discovered that I have a fairly uncommon
> right-sided brain deficit. It just happened that the subjects I chose for
> "A" levels were science subjects where I was weakest ... and no amount of
> effort , persuasion or punishment would have helped.
First of all CONGRATULATIONS to you Ian. To me, this is an outstanding example
of what scouting is about.
Speaking of pushing buttons:
Don't people realize that school records are the private property of the student
(this includes grades) and as such are protected by law from disclosure
to unauthorized disclosure in many states. Non educational organizations
have ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT to DISCRIMINATE against a youth because of something
that is NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS. If a boy has been ellected SPL by his troop
how can you in any concience deny the troop the leader it has selected
(good or bad). This is one of our basic tools for teaching the scouts the
responsibilities of representative government. In my 30+ years in scouting
I have seen it over and over and over...... again. Just because a person
experiences failure (Notice I did not say he failed but rather experienced
failure) in one significant life activity does not mean the person should
be ordered to fail in another activity.
I have had this discussion many times with parents of scouts having trouble
in school. Fun is not the purpose of scouting. Fun is a tool of scouting.
withdrawing a scout from instructional activities in my experience is
nearly always counter-productive. In fact we have found that if the
parents are coperative and suportive and that if the SM is aware of
academic or other problems, it is likely that scouts can be a tool
that can turn such problems around. For example:
One of the scouts in my troop has recently been diagnosed with ADD.
He has had a history of academic and behavioral problems and had
been grounded from scouting activities by his parents. Fortunately,
when I spoke to his parents they aggreed to try my suggestion.
They told me not to expect much because the boy was obviously "slow"
The adult leadership team SM, ASMs and JASMs came to realize that
there were a number of challenged boys in the troop and began
to provide more challenge and interaction and counseling with
them. BIG SUPRISE next report period, scout gets first A in
his school carreer plus two Bs and a C.
This not to say that all problems were solved, but many were
even before the ADD determination.
(We had an advantage in that several of our adult leaders SM have
experience with or have been diagnosed with ADD and have learned
methods to utilize ADD characteristics as gifts rather than
Strive to help and understand and manage learning, not to
Sorry to be so long winded
I used to be an Eagle
Gary W. Sherwin SM
Troop 461 Yukon, Pa
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City