Re: Tarnished Honor
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Fri, 13 Jun 1997 01:06:30 -0400
On Wed, 11 Jun 1997, George J. Dolicker wrote:
> ... and the final Jeopardy answer is...?
The scenarios that I presented were in part of my own invention and in
part based on real questions raised by Scouters in private who were not
comfortable in putting them to a group. I've kept the sense of the
questions but have altered facts and eliminated information that would
have identified people where privacy was a consideration.
The answers to these scenarios both public and private have been numerous
and most helpful. Many wonderful suggestions and views were aired that
will help not only the folks that asked questions, prompting me to post,
but others on the list who have written to say these questions are very
similar to situations they face as advancement chairs, etc.
As in real life, often there is no real "Jeopardy Answer" per se. I am
proud to say that nearly to a person, all of the Scouters responding came
to feel that the young man's honor wasn't tarnished and that he was
already an Eagle by virtue of his exemplary honesty and courage. When so
many take this stand, we can all take comfort in knowing that we are
indeed creating the safe haven for youth that allows them to grow and
learn from errors instead of being punished for life. Similarly Willie
was recognized as a leader in needed of coaching and direction. Again a
lot of feeling for understanding youthful errors of judgment and looking
instead at the potential for leadership and responsibility.
The support of so many folks will no doubt help in the related situations.
The more difficult situation was that of the Eagle wanting encouragement
in the form of material reward. We seem to have come down to trying to
help him see the importance of achieving for his own benefit and that
achievement being its own reward and to also recognize that sometimes a
Scout may not be a high achiever or self-generator where some rewards or
motivators might be useful, though a high ticket item might be a bit
much. There were some astute observations as well about being careful not
to put on too much pressure to the point it causes resentment or ruins
family life. Likewise there were observations about being careful not to
condition driving or similar things on earning Eagle and a few arguments
Perhaps the most important thing that I will be able to share from the
answers is that so many of you are looking hard at what is good for the
young man involved and what will help him to grow. This will help others
to ask the same question and answer knowing they are on the right track.
Though I haven't been able to write to each of you personally, I thank
each of you who answered and shared ideas.
Speaking only for myself in the Scouting Spirit, Michael F. Bowman
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