Belt loop thread
Jan Mussler (mussler@SPOT.COLORADO.EDU)
Sat, 20 Jul 1996 07:12:13 -0600
Whew, sometimes when you ask a question, you open up more discussion than
you ever thought possible! <g>.
A very wise and tenured Den Leader and Roundtable head person (what are
they called?) once explained to me - Earning the Belt loop is like going
to Baskin Robbins and asking for a taste of a new flavor; it's an
introduction to something new. If I like that flavor, I'll buy a cone.
If I like the Sport or Academic, maybe I'll try to see if I can earn the
pin or get mom and dad to help me and earn a way cool Letter.
Now, I have asked several times at the local Scout Office for the Leader's
Book; it's been backordered, held revised, whatever for almost a year.
So... I've been using the Baskin Robbin's Rule with regards to belt loops.
For my own sons - I've asked that they read some (not all) of the books
for things they're interested in pursuing. They certainly don't need to
read or complete everything in each book for a belt loop; for a Pin or
Letter I would expect having read the whole thing and completed many, but
not all of the activities. In the case where my sons are having trouble
reading the material, I will read it to them for bedtime reading, in the
car going somewhere etc. You have to remember, even older cubs may not be
able to read everything in their Scout book. I started the Wolf year
reading to my older son in his Scout book and recording his answers until
he had advanced enough in those skills to do it himself.
For my Scouts - we did Tennis at the neighbor's house. I felt to deserve
the belt loop, I should at least cover some safety rules (stretches in
this case), some drills (we did forehand, backhand, and bouncing the ball
up and down on the racket), went briefly over scoring and then played some
half court "games" where my 8 boys played doubles on a half court. Mostly
it was serving practice and hunt and chase for the sky balls. We covered
a number of things in the book but certainly not all. I'm not sure anyone
was coordinated enough to make a point. But, we had a lot of fun, we
introduced variety into a Den Meeting, got them outside and allowed
everyone to earn something. Not all my boys made Wolf this past year (6/7
so far) so I want to introduce as much success to my boys as possible.
Skiing - Skiing happens each Jan-Feb at our school in the form of 4 week
lessons at the local ski area (I know, lucky us). All our Scouts (so far)
ski, so this last year we bought ski belt loops after completion of the
lessons. We have one boy in my den who does now attend private school.
So I bought him the Skiing Book and asked that he review it, so he would
not be left out. He skis often. The boys in the Pack, being different
ages and ability ranged from first time green to Black expert. But the
instructors go over safety and whatever skills are appropriate to their
level. Only an expert skiier could do everything in those books.
Science - I looked through the Science Book and it's not too different
than the hand-out our Talented and Gifted Program Coordinator gave all the
kids last year. I'm planning on asking my boys to choose a
science/physics/cooking-chemistry related elective or achievement and
encourage them to "Do Your Best" on it and write it up and submit it for
the Science Fair. Perhaps the radios I asked about this week. Part of
the problem is that often these enriching activities (OM as well) and
homework compete with the time my Scouts have for Scouting activities.
Perhaps we can do this so they complement each other. Also, if one or
several of the Scout leaders go up to support and encourage the Scouts on
their participation, the Cubs will eat it up. It's quite a rush to go up
to the school and have your Scouts greet you (loudly) in the hall, ask
where my DA is (they think she lives at my house!) or rush up to show you
something. I made sure I touched base with all the Scouts I knew and kids
from church, friends kids, etc. when I was up at school to view my son's
science fair projects. IMHO, THIS is the important part of the sports and
academics - the ENCOURAGEMENT the boys can get from it.
I think Scouting at least as important as homework, enrichment and
swimming lessons; perhaps more so. A thought jumped into my head -
perhaps my Scouts could do the Music Academic Beltloop while competing in
the All School Talent Show.
Enough for now.
Jan Mussler, Bear DL, Pack 170, Nederland, CO
Arapahoe District, Longs Peak Council
/\ /\ /\ 8500 feet and still climbing...
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Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City