Another success story
Alan Houser (troop24@EMF.NET)
Wed, 10 Jul 1996 22:37:53 -0700
I have another bright spot from summer camp to share with you. We
have a Scout I'll call Ben. Ben has been in the troop 3 years now,
and he has always been a real likable kid. He's never been one to
stand out in front and make himself visible just for the sake of
being visible. He's not the athletic type, and has some physical
limitations that keep him from going on our high adventure trips.
But he's a very conscientious sort of guy, someone you can depend on.
And he has a very patient, caring demeanor that has served him well as
a Den Chief the last couple of years. It was for these qualities that
I selected him to be Troop Guide for the next year.
Now, in Troop 24, we encourage advancement by providing opportunities
and letting the Scouts take advantage of the opportunities as they like.
I was shocked a few years ago (before I became SM) when a couple of new
Scouts felt that there was too much pressure for them to advance and quit.
Thus, I'm not fond of the First Year, First Class emphasis, but we have
been doing pretty well at getting most of our Scouts there in the first
year & a half. And we do very well at keeping them, regardless of their
After First Class, it's easy to spot the self-motivated, "Type A" ones
who want to advance quickly. For the others, I tend to let them find
their own level of momentum. And so, I was pleasantly surprised to find
several this year, after a year or two of being First Class, who decided
it was time to start moving up.
Ben was one of the latter. He quietly accumulated the merit badges for
Star, and with two years of excellent Den Chief service, approached me
for his SM conference and easily passed his board of review.
At our summer camp, there is an honor camping society called the Wolfeboro
Pioneers. Similar to the Order of the Arrow in that there are rank and
camping requirements to be eligible and candidates are elected by the
other Scouts in the troop. In elections for SPL, OA, and Pioneers, I have
not been disappointed with the way my Scouts consider the candidates and
cast their ballots. We had five Scouts eligible for the three spots we
could elect. Two were Life Scouts and active in the Venture Crew, and
two others had a certain amount of popularity in the troop.
Ben was the fifth and he was one of the three elected by the Scouts.
There is an induction ceremony comparable to but not the same as for the
OA. The morning after the induction I met Ben on his way back to camp,
and he was beaming. In chatting with him briefly, it was clear he was on
top of the world. Later I spoke with one of my ASMs who was also inducted
that same evening (adults are elected by a vote of the Pioneers in camp)
and he told me that Ben had said, "I never thought anything like this
would ever happen to me."
So, now I have a new Troop Guide who is filled with new confidence
about himself and who knows that his peers respect him enough to award
him this honor.
I can hardly wait for this fall....
Alan R. Houser ** Scoutmaster, Berkeley Troop 24 ** email@example.com
** WWW page ** http://www.emf.net/~troop24/t24.html **
Scoutmaster, Mt. Diablo Silverado Council Contingent Jamboree Troop #3
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City