Gary McBain (GMCBAIN@MAIL.HENRYFORD.CC.MI.US)
Mon, 21 Jul 1997 10:01:32 -0400
Paul Brown wrote:
"I think that an SM is within his rights to not sign off a rank
advancement for lack of scout spirit, if he can directly tie it to
violations of the scout law. Otherwise, he's on thin ice."
While I don't disagree with the concept of not signing off because of "scout
spirit, it is sometime difficult to distingush.
Case in point. One of our few older scouts recently completed his Eagle
project. Our SM has stated that in spite of the boy fullfilling all of his
requirements he doesn't think the boy has exhibited the proper "scout
spirit" and has said he will not sign off. This prompted quite a discussion
among the SM and the 4 ASMs on what constitutes "scout spirit".
The SM feels that the boy does not always get along with other members
of the troop, is bossy, and often grouchy. He feels that the scout law
says a scout is cheerful, kind, friendly, etc and this boy isn't and therefore
does not exhibit scout spirit.
The other ASMs, myself included, look at the boy, who is an ASPL and see
all the traits of the SM's leadership style. Everthing the SM says about the
boy is inherant in the SM (no they are not related). It is very obvious that
the boy has picked up the leadership style of the SM over the years. Of
course this begs the question: Where was the SM when the boy earned
all his other ranks? Did the SM not sign off on his other advancments?
On the other hand, the boy participates in every troop activity, and most
council activities. He has more service hours than the rest of the troop
combined. He often steps into the fray to take charge when others won't
or can't, and despite his rough leadership style, and sometimes abrasive
personality, he gets things done and accepts the responsibility. He has
earned the money on his own to go to the Jamboree this summer. Is this
not the spirit of scouting also?
On the other hand, maybe the SM is correct. The boy just turned 16 and
has plenty of time to work on those aspects of "scout spirit" where he is
deficient. Hmmm, maybe we can get the SM to set the example!
Gary McBain, ASM
T-254 Sterling Hgts MI
Clinton Valley Council
(a 100% scouting family)
and "a good old fox too"
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City