More on Sports Belt Loops
Randy Worcester (RandyWoo@AOL.COM)
Mon, 21 Oct 1996 23:09:01 -0400
MR HENRY MOWRY <HenryMowry@PRODIGY.COM> wrote:
>How can a Pack limit the number of awards that a boy earns? That
>seems very counterproductive ... yet I've heard of other Packs that
>say "only 3 belt loops."
>That's wrong. Boys are invited to achieve as much as they can.
I believe we need to talk about the purpose or spirit of the program versus
the reality of the program.
The Cub sports leader guide suggests "try to introduce one or two new ones
each year". It does not say "try to get as many belt loops as possible".
Unfortunately, many den leaders interpret it this way.
It appears that the intent of the program is to get the boys aquainted with
several sports that they would not normally play; then hope that they would
become interested enough to continue with the sports pin.
The problem I've witnessed is that new, untrained, or weak den leaders try to
use the sports belt loops as a substitute for planning a good den meeting.
They throw the ball out in the backyard at a den meeting and if the boy sees
or smells it, he gets a belt loop.
I believe that limiting the number of belt loops earned in a year is a way to
stop this abuse from happening. At least until the den leader is trained to
the point that they understand the program. This seems to be more in line
with the spirit of the program.
Also, the guide states that the pack leadership determines how the program is
implemented in the Pack. What is good for your Pack may not be for another.
>However, please remember to make all decisions with one thought in mind:
>"What's best for the boys?"
Having the boys earn awards for actually achieving something is best for the
boys. Being awarded a belt loop for simply participating in a game can not
be best for their self esteem.
I believe that a change is needed in the sports belt loop program so that the
requirements are better defined. In addition, every district should devote a
roundtable to understanding belt loops. This is one case where I applaude
the leaders that read more into what I view as vague requirements.
If I were to change the program, I would add: learning and following the
rules, showing sportsmanship, playing the sport for at least one 30 minute
session, and demonstrating the skill required for that sport.
Sorry for the strong opinions but I just got off the phone with a den leader
that ordered 44 belt loops and 17 sports pins for 9 boys for Thursday's Pack
meeting. She is a great leader with wonderful den meetings, but in this case
she asked the parents what the boys had qualified for.
Cubmaster Pack 15
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City