Scout Spirit (long)
Michael J Pagelkopf (mjpagel@SPARC.ISL.NET)
Mon, 24 Feb 1997 22:30:03 -0600
This thread brought back visions of 1994 and the many communications I had
with national in trying to understand and apply the change that was made
with the _1993-95 Boy Scout Requirements_. In dealing with the subject of
"Scout spirit" it is very important that the full requirement be used.
Prior to 1993 the requirement for the ranks of Second Class thru Eagle was
simply "show Scout spritit".
In September of 1993 the requirement was changed to read "Demonstrate Scout
spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life."
One major change is in the words "demonstrate" instead of "show" and the
addition of "everyday life". The change is critical one was touched on by
the post by Mr. Jackson that said in part "The ASM's and I are the ones who
work with and observe the scout at troop meetings, campouts and other
activities; we should be the ones who if he is really 'living' Scout
spirit." The requirement as currently written takes "Scout spirit" out of
the confines of the troop setting and into the community. Clearly, the
intent of changing the wording was to expand the horizon of the requirement.
Within the confines of the troop, "Scout spirit" was judged, based on an
interaction and demonstration within a peer group and around adults in the
troop setting. Now the requirement looks to the "everyday life" of the
Scout as a field of judgement for living the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
To me what has been missed in this topic is "What information would you use
that your Scout had demonstrated ' Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath and
Scout Law in his everyday life?" And it must be information you can apply
to all Scouts coming before yuou and your adult leaders for advancement
because the requirement must be applied the same to all Scouts.
Scout spirit _is_ a subjective requirement. The challenge in determining
the comletion of the requirement is to do so without personal feeling or
beliefs entering into the equation. A square knot is a square knot. What
is the Scout spirit in the everyday life of your scout? The ability to tie
a square knot is visable. Does the same hold true for judging Scout spirit
in everyday life?
The board of review has three purposes (Troop Committee Guidebook)
1. To make sure that the work has been learned and completed.
2. To find out what kind of experience the boy is having in his patrol
3. To encourage the Scout to progress further.
Personally I have a hard time placing "demonstrate Scout spirit" as work
that has been learned and completed.
I think that before any Scout is denied advancement because Scout spirit was
not demonstrated all of us need to consider how we can quantify Scout spirit
without loosing the personal touch.
Like Mr. Jackson and Mr. Dixon, I cannot understand nor do I appreciate a
process that allows a Scoutmaster to counsel and approve only to have the
Board of Review deney the advancement. The Scout has not failed in this
process the Scoutmaster has failed. The Troop Committee Guidebook says it
very well, "The purpose of the (Scoutmaster) conference is to ensure that
the Scout is ready for his board of review."
I hope that is discussion can bring out the tools needed to make dealing
with Scout spirit easier.
In The Spirit of Scouting
Boy Scout Roundtable Commissioner
Hiawatha District - Gamehaven Council S.E. Minnesota
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City