Are we in it for ourselves?
Jan Mussler (mussler@SPOT.COLORADO.EDU)
Sun, 23 Feb 1997 10:43:05 -0700
I'm a few days behind, but would like to comment on this thread. As an
adult volunteer, I like the idea of the knots for service and tenure on
one hand. On the other, I feel a bit of a heel for LIKING the idea of
being able to get the knots. But one way I think of the knots is imposing
some GOALS for what I want to accomplish for my den. Perhaps a more
rounded set of GOALS for the den is the National Den Award. It's
certainly harder to get - and it's certainly boy-oriented. And it's
harder work for me to help the den get this award. And it's really hard
to say who will get the ultimate recognition for the National Den Award.
Probably me - because outside of the District, few parents or Scouts will
know the significance of the achievement. Unless of course, I use this
award to pysch up other den leaders. But the ultimate GOOD from having
achieved the goals will always be the Scouts. They will benefit from a
Program that is not my conception of what I think BSA is, but a rounded
program of what the Program actually is.
Back to knots - they represent minimum standards for what I believe you
need to be a GOOD den leader (Scouter, CM, WDL etc.) If earning the knot
will help the boys (and pad my ego a bit), I don't think there is any harm
Soul searching - I think you need to continually do some soul searching
when it comes to your actual motivation for participating in Scouts as an
adult leader. I suspect deep done that the Program meets as many of my
needs as that of my sons'. I would have LOVED to have been a part of a
program such as GS or BSA as a kid. Perhaps I'm living out an adult
fantasy. As I do so, I hope that Fantasy doesn't overshadow giving the
Scouts what they need to be successful. From reading many, many posts
over the past year, I would say I'm not alone. Part of the motivation to
give so much of our time to something comes from a passion driven by our
own need AS WELL AS the needs of the boys. And perhaps I feel guilty
because I am having a lot of fun.
My participation was called into question just this week. My son came
home from school with his den, but he chose to do his homework rather than
participate in the den activities. I let him chose that, since he wasn't
disruptive as he sometimes has been in the past, but later asked him why.
He didn't need the weather activities, having already earned his
conservation badge last year. He said he needed to finish his work.
Later, after the scouts had gone, he admitted he'd gotten socked in the
nose on the bus. Guess it ruined his afternoon. I asked him if he didn't
like Scouts. He said he doesn't want his den to ever change - he likes it
the way it is. I took that as positive. So for now - I'll keep doing
what I'm doing. But I think you need to keep evaluating the experience
again and again.
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