Re: Adult Recognitions
Mark Wilson (mwilson@POLARIS.ORL.MMC.COM)
Thu, 1 Jun 1995 13:15:27 EDT
Well I guess I'll enter into this foray....
First, I notice that there are plenty of self righteous leaders
who, it appears look with disdain at other leaders who have a
few awards or recognitions. To them I would point out that there
are any number of reasons for adults to work that "hour a week"
in the Scouting program. There is only one that is offensive to
me (to get close to the boys for immoral/illegal reasons). I, for
one, have several reasons. One, because I like doing it. I like
doing because it is fun (most of the time), and because I get to do
things I like to do. How much more selfish can you get! Two, I do it
for my sons. My dad put in ten years with me (more now, I dragged
him back in when he retired) so I feel it is only right that I do
the same. I grew up in the program and benefitted. Now I want my
my sons to have the same opportunity. Three, I am an Eagle. As such
I believe that I owe. I have a debt of responsibility to carry on
the program that gave me so much. Fourth, I believe that Scouting
is the best all round program ever developed for boys (girls, too
but that is a different post) and my service as an adult leader is
also a community service to help build tomorrow's leaders or at
least to help make a few better men. Others might do it for fame
and glory or any other self centered reason. Who cares, as long as
they continue to give of their time and resources to further the
So what about all those knots? Frankly, I think the BSA has gone
overboard. Does that mean I don't wear knots? No. I currently have
six. I'm proud of the fact that I have them. Here's why. One is
the AOL knot. The second is the Eagle knot. I spent one year as an
Asst. CM and two as CM. I also noticed that in the process I had
done what was required for the CM award, so I filled out the form
and sent it in (as it were). Then I spent two years as the Committee
Chair, happened, again to have done the requirements for the Cub
Scouter award and sent that form in as well. Somewhere in there I
became SM for my current troop (couldn't let a 24 year old troop
fold for lack of an SM). Once again, after two years, I found I had
done what was required for the Boy Scouter Training award, so I
filled out another form. I just completed a two year tour as a
Webelos Den leader. You guessed it! So I filled out yet another form.
Six knots for 18 years of Scouting. Did I do it for the knots? No.
I did it for the reasons I stated before. If you are truely committed
to doing the job right you will, in all likelyhood complete the
requirements for the appropriate knots. If so then fill out the form
and send it in and be proud to wear the knots you earned.
My general approach to knots is this: If there is a set of requirements
(a checklist, if you will) and I have completed those requirements,
then I will fill out the form and send it in. If it is one which others
choose to bestow, and they choose to bestow it on me, fine. If not,
well that's fine, too.
Mike Tester mentioned that he has seen a lot of Recognition Awards
go to those who work at the District level. I've seen the same thing,
particularly in regard to the District Award of Merit. In the last eight
years only those with silver tabs at least part time have received that
award in my district. Like Mike, I think that sends a poor message to
those who choose to spend eight or ten years in the trenches at the
unit level. I plan on proposing a new (to us anyway) of selecting the
Award of Merit recipients. I will propose that once the nominations are
received, and any supporting information solicited, the nominees be
placed on a ballot for all current Award of Merit holders to vote.
In any case, I sure would like to see a blue, green or red tabber
get the award someday.
This also goes to the issue of adult recognition. Often we don't do
enough of it for adults. It doesn't need to be knots per se. Here's
an example. A few years back, my wife put together the district's
day camp. Traditionally that position was called Camp Director. Well
that year Council decided to advertise that each camp was professionally
run, so they assigned the title of Camp Director to the DEs. The amount
of work the vollunteers did was not diminished, but now the
title wasn't there (which made some dealings with the community a bit
difficult). When I pointed out the disparity to the pro in charge at the
council level, he said "well, it's only a title." to which I said "When
you're a vollunteer, a title is all you get." The people on staff knew
who did the work and the parents knew who should get the credit for a
great camp. It was a shame that Council didn't recognize the effort with,
as a minimum, the appropriate title.
There are those who will say we should only do it for the boys. It's
true that the boys are a pivotal part, but peer recognition is also an
important moral boost. I make it a point to have at least a certificate
of appreciation for each person who helps me staff a program and I
arrange time at Roundtable to present them. Knots serve the same purpose.
If giving someone a knot or a plaque or a certificate will encourage them
to continue to give of their time and resources to support the program
then I'm all for it.
Doing the job well is enough. A word of thanks makes it better. Recognition
is just the icing on the cake.
Mark Wilson email@example.com
Eagle Class of '74 863 Trumbull Street
SM, Troop 565 Deltona, FL, 32725
I used to be an antelope ....
My opinions are my opinions. Lockheed Martin can speak for itself.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City