Re: Flexibility of requirements
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Sun, 6 Aug 1995 23:24:23 -0400
Your example suggests three things that should be of concern to all Cub
1. Are we giving the Scout the best program?
Shortcuts can always be appealing and someone can always think of a
justification that sounds good at the time. But what of the Scout?
Don't we owe it to him to give the best possible program? How hard would
it be to get a few softballs, etc. to do it right? He's going to
remember that Scouting meant half-way measures for a long time, if this
is how activities are conducted and adjust his view of what he should do
2. Are we teaching by examples a set of values contrary to good citizenship?
Very few Cubs are unaware of what the requirements state. They know when
somebody is cutting corners. Are we teaching them that the rules do not
matter? That it is okay to be expediant for whatever motivation? When a
leader decides to ignore rules, requirements, etc., the boys' radar is on
and they are aware of it right away and because in their minds this is
unusual, it makes more of an impression. Do we want to teach them
respect for rules as part of citizenship values? Of course we want them
to understand and respect rules and as they grow older how to change them.
3. Are we damaging future leadership, by cutting parents out?
For Wolf and Bear ranks the parents should be the ones to decide whether
a Cub has passed a requirement as much as possible. We want the parents
involved and to become familiar with the program. This tends to help the
Pack recruit Den leaders and Pack leaders later on. If the parent is
allowed to be passively non-involved, it makes recruiting much harder.
When a day-camp staff supplants the parent, this can have lasting and
probably unintended effects. Maybe the message should be that Day-camps
should focus on fun activities for their own sake instead of trying to
act as rank factories. There are hundreds of activities that can be done
at a Day-camp without worrying about ranks, all of which can be fun and
teach skills that make earning rank later much easier. Planners should
always remember a key Cub Scouting principle - KISMIF (Keep It Simple,
Make It Fun). If the Cubs have fun they will want to keep participating
and be all the more motivated. And at home this enthusiasm won't be lost
Speaking only for myself in the Scouting Spirit, Michael F. Bowman
DDC-Training, GW Dist. Nat Capital Area Council mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City