changing the requirements!!!
Susan Ganther (susan@EMAIL.UNC.EDU)
Thu, 29 Dec 1994 07:57:18 -0500
I have a question that may inspire a lot of opinion, but what I really
need are chapter and verse from the regs so that I can do something about
the situation if that is warranted.
I am involved with a Troop that is sponsored by a private school that
operates by the Waldorf philosophy, don't ask me to explain it, I cannot,
maybe someone out there can. The SM has an apparent hostility towards the
traditional Scout program and has firmly told everyone who works with him
that he is altering the program to fit the Waldorf philosophy. OK so far,
this much I know is permitted by BSA from the dialogs here on Scouts-L
about Latter Day Saints and their program changes, but the question
is, how much and what parts of the program is he permitted to alter?
He held a Board of Review for all ranks up to Star a few weeks ago and
NOT ONE committee member sat on the BOR. The BOR included one of the
parents of one of the Scouts up for review. This parent is trying to
ramrod his boy thru the advancement process in spite of the fact that the
Scout had not done any service hours and as far as leadership goes, he
wore the patch, but that is about all. The other two people on the BOR
were both registered leaders. Is this a valid BOR for these ranks? Again,
I need chapter and verse.
When told that the Scouts leadership was not up to snuff, the SM went
into a rant about Waldorf philosophy and the boys soul still in the
developemental stage, and a lot of other stuff that really just amounted
to a lot of excuses for the fact that his program had not given the boy
any opportunity to develope his leadership skills. The real problem is
that the SM will not go to training because he does not want to run a
traditional Scouting program. Some of us are convinced that his rantings
about Waldorf philosophy are really just excuses for being untrained and
ignoring the input he gets from his assistants.
I really do not want to see this man take away the Scouts opportunity to
EARN the ranks by awarding unearned badges. My problem is, he has gone
and put together a committee after the fact (in other words, the
committee did not select the leader, the leader selected the committee).
If there is anything that is going to be done to get this loose cannon
under control it will have to be accomplished by knowing exactly what the
regs state re changing the program. I need to be able to go to this man's
handpicked committee and educate them so that the integrity of the ranks
can be maintained. If they were serving on the BOR they could see for
themselves that this man's program is setting the boys up for failure and
knocking their self esteem in the process. You can hear it in the Scouts
evaluations of themselves. Giving a kid a free ride on advancement
because you are too incompetent to deliver a program that gets them
there does not salvage their self esteem, it makes them feel like
charity cases who need to be given handouts because they don't have
what it takes to make it on their own.
Can a BOR be valid if there are no committee members on it? Who has
responsibility for deciding who will serve on a BOR?
The committee knows nothing of the program other than what the SM tells
them, and he is obviously going to flatter himself when he describes his
program to them. If they could see what his assistants see they would
understand that he is not delivering anything but talk. We ought to at
least be able to get them into a BOR so they can see the program thru the
The problem goes beyong rank integrity. He has also insisted firmly that
two deep leadership is not needed for waterfront activities. I know the
training materials for safe swim defense refer only to one responsible
adult, so it is difficult to make him accept that there are NO EXCEPTIONS
to the two deep leadership rule, no matter how firmly he insists, there
is NO WAY I am going to leave him alone with those kids. He wants it too
much for my comfort level.
I can't take the problem to the unit commisioner because the UC is the
parent who is trying to ramrod his kid thru the ranks. I can't quit the
ASM position and forget about it because my Pack (I'm the CM) is
chartered by the same sponsoring organization and I have a thriving group
of happy campers who are looking forward to crossing over into that troop
when their time comes. I don't want to tell the parents of the Cubs about
the problems with the Troop because they are growing in enthusiasm for
the Scouting movement because of the positive experiences they are having
in my unit. I don't want to mess that up.
What would you do if you were in my shoes?
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City