Re: Progress report and request for advice
Paul H. Brown (phbrown@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Wed, 30 Oct 1996 15:28:32 -0500
On Wed, 30 Oct 1996, Jim McMaster wrote:
> The problem is whether I should sign him off on Scout Spirit. He goofs around
> a bit at troop meetings, but that is attributable to the ADD, and I am willing
> to let that go. Campouts are the problem. He has not done well on any
> campout so far, and at summer camp had a major blowup with two other scouts,
> both of which he recruited into the troop. Formerly, they were best friends,
> but they are now barely on speaking terms.
> He has announced he is not going on any more cold-weather camping trips. In
> Colorado, that probably means he will not go with us until May. My problem
> is, his scout spirit is acceptable except on camping trips. I feel he should
> demonstrate a better attitude on camping trips before signing off on this
> requirement any more. If I do sign it off, he could be Star before he goes
> camping again. If not, I might be unfairly holding him up.
> As if this were not already complicated enough, the scout is my son. I do not
> know if I am being extra hard on him because of that, or whether I would be
> showing favoritism by letting him pass along.
It is difficult, as you've found, to combine the roles of father and SM.
As fathers, we expect more from our own sons (good genes, naturally) than
we do from others' sons. As a rule, we're not as patient. We fall into
different teaching modes. The father-son interaction can interfere with
the SM-scout interaction.
And, its not just one-way. To the other scouts, you're 10 feet tall.
Able to leap tall buildings with a single bound. To your son, you're
just Dad. (Paraphrasing what was said recently about Den Chiefs and
Cubs: a Den Chief is superman, but the Den Leader is just someone's mom.)
Difficult though it may be (and, I've been there), I'd back off. Involve
your son's PL and your ASMs more with your son's progress. Refuse to
answer to "Dad" at scouting events. Answer questions, but don't give
gratuitous advice. Involve Mom regarding getting him packing for
outings. Let the PL invite him on outings, and give him his
assignments. Make his coldness his patrol's problem, not yours.
Be assured that this problem is more difficult for your son than it is
As for Scout Spirit, I understand the requirement to be "Do Your Best."
Not all of our scouts have angelic qualities depicted by Rockwell. Your
son's Best might not be what you think it is. Involve your ASMs in this
Paul H. Brown, KD4UPD
I used to be an Antelope, WB 82-66
Pack Committee Chairman, Unit Commissioner, Roundtable Commissioner
George Washington District, National Capital Area Council, BSA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City