Doug Chamberlin (dchamberlin@DLAWTON.COM)
Wed, 13 Aug 1997 16:29:08 -0400
I have a question about recognizing advancement properly.
When I was a scout (about 30 years ago) we had board of reviews about every
3 months and a week later a Cour of Honor which was when we got our badges
and cards. The COH meetings were always ceremonial affairs with family
members invited. Candlelight ceremony precedes scoutmaster awarding all
items. Lots of pats on the back, etc.
The troop I just became scoutmaster of does things differently. They have
board of reviews at regular troop meetings whenever a scout asks for one
(they try to schedule them a week in advance). If the scout passes, he gets
his badge and card at the end of that troop meeting. Brief applause during
closing ceremony. Sometime later, perhaps months later, a Court of Honor is
scheduled in which all advancement is recognized from the previous COH.
Here the patrol leaders summarize the awards given to everyone in their
The reasoning for giving the awards at the end of the meeting is that the
scout should not wait to receive his award. However, my observation is that
the award loses some importance because it is not fully and properly
recognized - very little ceremony involved.
My other observation is that the adult leaders in the troop are pushing
advancement by scheduling instruction classes and merit badge classes
during most troop meetings. The scouts for the most part do not seem to
want to pursue the advancement activities. I think this is because they do
not see those awards as the important milestones they are. They see them
more like school assignments - to be completed because some adult says it
is important. Personally, I would rather see less advancement happening,
but where each milestone is significant because the scout completed it on
his own initiative, than to have more awards which mean less.
What do you all think about this?
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City