Re: MBs and the Handicapped Scout
Jeff Agle 5-5738 (jagle@CT.MED.GE.COM)
Wed, 2 Aug 1995 12:03:36 -0500
Susan Ganther wrote:
> Let's rephrase the question, suppose you had a very obese Scout. The planned
> outing was to hike to the top of a Mountain. Everyone who completes the
> hike gets a badge. Do you A) carry the fat kid B) leave him behind but
> give him the badge or C) let him choose to complete the climb or not as
> he sees fit, give him all the time he needs to do it, realize he is going
> to have to work a lot harder than everyone else to get there.
> Obviously, nobody wants to do choice A.
> If you choose B, how do you think he is going to feel about that badge.
> If you choose C, then it is up to the boy.
Being the fat kid, let me ask about another option. D) Let me climb with
you, but also let me be aware of my limitations. When the grade becomes
more than I can deal with, let me and a buddy stop and wait for your
return (this supposes you are coming back the same way). When we get done,
that badge will mean something different to me than it does to the rest of
the boys, but it will certainly mean something to me and remind me of the
experience, just as it does the other boys. I will still feel good about
my accomplishment, even if it was different than the accomplishment of the
I am an Eagle scout (class of 1973). One of the merit badges that was
required at the time was a physical fitness merit badge (I don't remember
the exact name, I would have to look it up). Anyway, I passed all of the
requirements for that badge except one (I was a fat kid then too). Most
of them required a great deal of effort on my part to complete, but I had
completed them. There was this one remaining requirement. I don't remember
exactly what the requirement was, but it had something to do with sprinting.
I wasn't fast off the line. I just couldn't make the time required. I
worked on the merit badge with my Scoutmaster and my troop and a merit
badge counselor. They had the other boys chase me and many other things
to get me under the time required. We finally drove to a nearby park with
a large hill. I ran the sprint going down the hill (with the other boys
chasing me again as I recall). I don't think this is how the requirement
writer visualized meeting this requirement. Frankly, I don't know to this
day if I made the time or not. (I was an adult leader before it occurred
to me that this adult leader may have been giving credit for BEST effort).
I do know that I received that merit badge. Do I feel good about it?
ABSOLUTELY. Do I wonder about it? Yes, sometimes. But I can live with
it either way.
In the Cub Scout program we measure everything by the boy's best effort.
In the Boy Scout program we often add an absolute measure that must be
obtained. However, I think there is still some lattitude given on that
absolute measure when it is necessary. (We have talked about it for ADD
and LD boys among others).
Jeff Agle firstname.lastname@example.org
SM Troop 127
District Cub Scout Training Chairman
Potawatomi Area Council (WI)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City