Re: Service hours
Jim Carter - HCI Project (hci@CS.USASK.CA)
Fri, 25 Aug 1995 15:48:00 -0700
Jeff Agle wrote:
>My problem is that sometimes that number of hours still doesn't get the
>boy to grow and still doesn't get the point across.
That's where leadership and the leader comes in.
In the Canadian way of Scouting requirements are guidelines, it's up to the
leader to use the requirements with the Scout to encourage achievement.
In the BSA way where even guidelines are made into laws, it is easier to
get caught with someone who's met the letter of the law and still hasn't
really achieved the intent.
B-P knew how ineffectual that laws could be and so he strongly advocated
that Scouting limit itself to the 10 points of the Scout Law that he first
established. He felt that if a person (young or old) really lived by these
10, then the individual could be trusted to use them to make the right
decision in a wide variety of matters. After all one of the most important
things we as Scouters are trying to help the Scouts with is to develop
their sense of responsibility.
Excess rules don't help. Thus, where there is much good guidance in various
documents such as you Guide to safe Scouting and your organization's Youth
Protection Policy and ... and ... and ... I am appalled at many of the
nitpicky discussions about guidelines that have become sacred dictates. How
can Scouters help youth to develop their skills in responsible decision
making when these Scouters are constrained within an environment that
doesn't give them the credit of being able to make responsible decisions.
My answer to your particular question is: It just ain't easy. You have to
work with the Scout as an individual and make clear that the real
requirement of any service requirement is the demonstration of a Scouting
Spirit of Service and not just wasting away a few hours like a student
serving a detention. It's a lot harder to use the requirement as a
guideline to help in the development of a youth than it is to use it as a
form for "blind justice and equality" BUT it's a lot more in the Spirit of
Jim Carter <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City