Re: Life to Eagle
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Mon, 14 Oct 1996 00:09:59 -0400
On Fri, 11 Oct 1996, Robert M Lewis wrote:
> On page 595 of the BSA Handbook, requirement 1 for Eagle states "Be
> active in your troop and patrol for at least 6 months as a Life Scout"
> page 596 requirement 4 states "While a Life Scout, serve actively for a
> period of 6 months in one of more of the following positions of
> No where in these requirements does it say that the scout must attend 2/3
> of the troop activities, pay dues, etc. This I am assuming is in the
> troop Bylaws. As per National, I believe that these additional
> requirements are not necessary. SNIP
I have to agree with Robert that the "attendance requirements" you've
mentioned are not part of the rank requirements listed. However, I would
go a step further and argue that these "requirements" are improper.
Your unit does not have authority to add to the stated rank requirements
found in BSA's Boy Scout Requirements (Current Year) and/or a current BSA
Handbook. These efforts at defining Scout Spirit or active service are a
disservice to the Scout and in the longrun can be damaging to the Troop.
While we have some bedrock requirements/standards, there are some places
where words like "actively" are used to allow some discretion by the
unit. The idea is that we should be looking at each Scout as an
individual and gauging his performance based on what he is capable of
doing and encouraging him to continue to grow; e.g. develop character, etc.
If the Scout has done his best to be active and has been of value to his
fellow Scouts in a position of responsibility, we should be giving him
the benefit of the doubt without some restrictive formulary as to dues,
number of meetings, etc. I'd rather have a really great older Scout
attend a few meetings and outings and really contribute by giving
leadership and training other Scouts than a lump that attends every
meeting religiously without ever being of value to anyone any day. Yet
by the standards related to you, the good Scout would be punished and the
worthless ding-a-ling would be rewarded.
Working with individuals is always more difficult than dealing with a
formula that doesn't take quality into account. But then again the
rewards are much better. My recommendation would be to trash this by-law
in favor of working more closely with each Scout to encourage each to the
fullest of his potential.
Speaking only for myself in the Scouting Spirit, Michael F. Bowman
Dep.Dist.Commissioner-Training, G.W.Dist., NCAC, BSA (Virginia)
U. S. Scouting Service Project FTP Site Administrator (PC Area)
ftp1 or ftp2.scouter.com/usscouts E-mail: email@example.com
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City