Re: Advice needed(long but serious)
Bruce E. Cobern (bec@PIPELINE.COM)
Wed, 6 Dec 1995 10:21:10 -0500
On Dec 04, 1995 17:01:13, 'Nault Family <rnault@PTIALASKA.NET>' wrote:
>Has anyone else noticed that the Scout Spirit and Leadership requirement
>Eagle are topics which produce a wide range of opinions? I have two
>related to these two requirements: 1) It seems as though the degree of
>leadership required for the Eagle rank is much higher than for other
That may be the way it seems, but it is not the way it should be. The
requirements are identical (with the exception of a couple of positions
available for Star/Life that are not available for Eagle) for all three
ranks. However, I think that what happens is that troops overlook the
problems at the Star and Life level hoping things will improve. Then, all
of a sudden they see a Scout who they feel hasn't performed up to Eagle
standard and wonder how he ever got that far. The only difference I can
see is that as a Scout gets OLDER his maturity should increase and so we
should expect to see that increase in maturity reflected in how he conducts
himself. Also, as he holds leadership positions for a longer period of
time he should be learning how to be a better leader and that should be
reflected. However, there are no quantum leaps in performance level
required for Eagle.
>Think about it, why aren't we seeing posts that say, " Help needed in
>whether to sign off on leadership for Star rank?" Is it really fair of us
>Scouters to define leadership in one way for Star and Life and to hold
>probably not well communicated expectations for Eagle?
We should never expect any Scout to live up to expectation levels that are
not well communicated. Any time I run into situations like this on Eagle
boards the first question I ask the members of the board is whether the
Scout had been informed of what was expected of him. If not, then it
ceases to become an issue.
>2) Should a Scout be made aware of his lack of Scout Spirit well in
advance of his Scoutmaster
>conference? If so how? I've tried keeping records for both leadership and
>Spirit and have found that it's just too much for one person to do!
I believe the SM should be having a series of conferences with these Scouts
(especially the ones where there are potential problems) to make sure they
understand what is expected and where they stand. Our SM just prepared
"report cards" for each of the 25 or so Scouts who are First Class or above
listing some objective criteria like attendance and uniforming and then
evaluating their contribution to the program and giving suggestions about
where they need improvement. He is constantly having discussions with the
ones who need the most work to advance. In some cases he and the Life
Scout will actually develop a written "contract" of what will be expected
in order to make Eagle. Then both of them can evaluate the performance
against the goal.
>Is Scout Spirit for Eagle the same as Scout Spirit for the lower ranks?
There's nothing that indicates >otherwise.
The requirement is identical for ALL ranks: Live the Scout Oath and Law in
your daily life. (or something similar) What I believe we have a right to
expect is a development of this spirit as the Scout gets older and more
experienced. Things that might be overlooked if done by an 11 year old
might be unacceptable for a 16 year old.
I categorically reject any numerical formulas designed to turn these
subjective decisions into objective ones. However, they can be useful in
establishing performance goals which can then be discussed with a candidate
who does not meet them. Similarly, just meeting the numerical goals should
not be sufficient to advance.
>Maybe we're just too hung up on rank. Let's face it, there are Scouts who
>those evasive qualities who, for whatever reason, don't make Eagle. Maybe,
>wanting to judge a book by its cover, we want to judge a Scout by his
Bruce E. Cobern
Dan Beard District
Queens Council, NY
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City