Re: BELT LOOPS -semi-long
Michael Smith (msmith@EMST-DC.PLANSYS.COM)
Tue, 16 May 1995 09:58:50 EDT
Last year, we re-started up the Sports/Academic Belt Loop program after
droping it because of "disasters" with it a few years earlier. This time, we
have had a lot of success, with few headaches...Here's what we do.
1) We integrate a description of the program at the first meeting of the year
(for us, this includes a parents only section and a Boys/Parents section).
During this, we make sure everyone understands the rules.
2) We treat this program as an individual, OPTIONAL, program to augment the
standard Cub Scout program. Thus, we do not use PACK funds. Parents/Boys
know up front, that if they earn a belt loop/pin/letter, the pack will ensure
that the boy's get the award, but the Parent/Boy will pay for it. Key here -
let the parents know that the award is only $0.79 (or something near that
price) so for a single boy, the expense is minimimal, but times 3 times per
boy (average) times 70 boys, it becomes a big expense to the pack.
As far as the program goes...
3) YOU MUST HAVE THE BOOK (pamphlet)BEFORE ANY CREDIT TOWARDS THE AWARD CAN
BE EARNED! This is important, because in addition to specific activities
related to sports, there are sections that insist that these activities be
performed with good sportsmanship. Also, this prevents the boy from cruising
the scout store and "discovering" that he has "earned" a belt loop. Our pack
will acquire the book for the boy if desired (at cost) since we send a
committee person to the scout store about once a week.
4) You must inform the program coordinator that you are going to try to get
the XXXX Belt Loop/Pin, etc. PRIOR to any credit towards the award can be
earned (we provide a phone number so this can be done at any time).
5) ABSOLUTELY NO BACKTRACKING!!!! The only exception to this rule is that
time devoted to team sports that started just before September, but are
currently ongoing, can be used. But you can't use last falls participation
towards a belt loop now.
6) Only 1 belt loop and pin of each type. You can't get 5 soccer belt loops.
All of these rules have caused no problems at all with the boys. What they
ensure is that the boy has the intent to earn the award (not discovered that
they did it without knowning) and to make sure the boys know what is expected
up front (minimizes "stretching" the applicability of certain activities
towards the award after the fact). From a pack standpoint, it also eliminates
the boy who comes up and declares that he has earned 15 belt loops.
As far as the Parent's pins, we only count towards the award the time
dedicated to the exact sport and that time must be dedicated to either the
parent's son or other boys. That is a coach of a boy's soccer team earns
credit (even if it is not the their boy's team), but the coach of an adult
team does not. Any direct participation in the sport must be done WITH THE
BOY. Again, playing catch with your son counts, but playing on your
corporate team does not. This seems to be in line with the implied (though
terribly written) goals of the program. Also, anything that promotes the
sport for the boy's counts. A League Secretary for a boy's league earns the
same credit as the head coach...both are necessary for a successful boy's
Finally, while the Leader's Guide is terrible, I have found a great source
that has helped us set up a successful program. That source is a small
pamphlet called "Presidential Sports Award" put out by the President's
Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. These are available in our area at
our County recreational facilities. I understand that in some places they
are available at schools. As a fall back, the phone number to call for
information about this program is (317) 872-2900. Their progam is presented
very clearly and we have found it to be a great help.
Committee Chairman, Pack 160, Herndon, VA.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City