Re: American Heritage Award
Byron Hynes (bph@INTERNORTH.COM)
Fri, 8 Nov 1996 08:51:57 -0700
We had gateway problems yesterday. If you get two copies of this, I =
Please note that in the Wolf Cub program is different in Canada, and =
y'all in BSA may not have the same flexibility as I can have here.
It seems that there are three issues to be considered:
1. Is the traveling show an "Historic Site"?
2. The time limit
3. Being put "on the spot" by a friend.
There's a long bit of background, and my opinion is very near the end. =
If the answer to #1 is "yes", then the rest is moot (although you did =
not mention whether the cub was in uniform at the time). In my pack, I =
might well let the kids make this decision. I have been surprised more =
than once by how the pack has either accepted something that I might not =
have, or refused to accept something. It also surprised me how well kids =
have taken it when their peers and friends have said something did not =
qualify for a badge [note: I am not dealing with any special needs kids =
this year]. In some cases, a cub has tried to present something that =
they know really isn't up to snuff, but are hoping to sloff off. The =
other kids tend to see through this very quickly.
You also mention a concern that the kid(s) who did the work might be =
"slighted" by a lower standard... by giving the decision to the youth, =
you can avoid a lot of those feelings. The kid(s) who met the =
requirements can say their piece... or may agree.
While cubs don't have a PLC (or "Court of Honour"), but our system does =
allow a "sixers' council" of the same idea. Since my pack is very small, =
we can involve the whole group. With Cubs, you do have to be involved as =
a facilitator, to ensure fairness, or if the issue is emotionally =
charged, but a facilitator should guide the process, not the outcome.
If the adults just can't handle giving the decision to a group of little =
boys, then the adults have to reach a consensus in an informal ("hallway =
meeting") or formal (Pack Committee) way.
If the Civil War exhibit is NOT acceptable, then the second question =
comes into play. If he can still have time, then he should go and visit =
a site to get the award.
I don't understand the value of having this time limit. In our system, a =
child earns the badge when he or she completes the requirements. On some =
occasions, most of the pack have completed a badge together, while one =
or two have not finished. We encourage them to finish, but the choice is =
theirs. If they finish off 6 months later, they get the badge six =
On the other hand, for whatever reason, a limit was established. Are you =
willing to extend that time limit? This is another question that could =
be asked to the group. However, I would suggest that IF you allow this =
one to have more time, you should offer the same deal to all of the =
I would also award the badge to the boy(s) who completed on time right =
away, and award it to the "late comers" later.
Being put on the spot
Who his friends are should have nothing to do with getting or not =
getting the award. I believe you have been treated unfairly, and the =
parent should have known better -- for that matter, why is the parent =
doing the asking? Is the CHILD asking you for the award, or just the =
By passing the decision to a group -- be they the boys or a group of =
adults -- you may be able to remove (some of) the "I'm your friend". If =
you are comfortable with doing so, I would suggest you mention to the =
other parent that you feel uncomfortable when she asks you to treat her =
child differently than the other cubs. [Try not to blame :-) ]
There is a risk of course, that she may be offended and no longer seem =
to be a friend. I hope she doesn't react that way, but I wouldn't be =
prepared to make her reaction the basis of my decision.
My opinion (What would I do?)
I would ask the pack if the moving exhibit was acceptable.=20
1. If so, give out the awards.=20
2. If not, give the award to the boy that earned his and offer all of =
an open-ended offer to complete the requirements. I would not give =
unless he (and his parent) showed the initiative to complete the =
If you've read this far... thanks for paying attention. :-) I hope it =
[I only quoted part of the story]
On November 6, 1996 5:56 PM, Mike & Cathy Carver[SMTP:carvfam@CNW.COM] =
> The requirements had a certain timeline involved (Memorial Day to =
> Day) to complete the requirements. While this Scout and parent =
> this Civil War site, she did had not intended to count this as part of
> the American Heritage award. All during the summer, this parent told =
> that she was going to take her son to visit another historic site, as
> she did not consider the roving site to be considered visiting an =
> site. During the summer, also, I kept reminding her of the timeline.
> Well, due to other obligations, this never took place within the
> timeline. She also informed me that she was still planning to visit a
> site, where at this time, I said that it was too late. This den
> leader/parent then asked me to "fudge" a little about the requirements
> for visiting a historic site and 1)consider the Civil War roving site
> and 2) because we are very good friends and our sons are best friends.
> I felt very put on the spot by this request.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City