Re: SPORTS & ACAD. LETTERS
AL DEBENEDETTO (alcjjj@CLASSIC.MSN.COM)
Tue, 4 Nov 1997 01:39:10 UT
Thank you for your response to my post. I have the following comments.
"Perhaps we can't establish that only one academic and one sports letter may
be awarded to each scout but I don't buy the argument that additional letters
provide incentive for continuing parent participation. I can't believe that
Laureen De.'s Pow Wow instructor (by definition, a rabid volunteer), whose
son earned 3 sports letters, was influenced to devote the time required
because of those letter awards."
The Instructor probably would have spent the time with his son anyway. He is
a Scouter, which says to me, he wants to be as much a part of his son's life
experiences as possible. Isn't that why we are all here and in the positions
we are in? But not all families are like that. Those are the families I
would hope these letters would attract.
"In fact the opposite may be true, that is, a scouting family concerned with
accumulating awards would seem less likely to squander precious time on a
second, demanding, activity just to earn a duplicate recognition."
I do not see it as a duplicate recognition, the award looks the same but the
recognition is for a different sport/academic. Just as silver arrow points
all look the same, but are awarded for different achievements. And a scout can
earn several of those for both Wolf and Bear.
my son nor myself have any expectation of receiving more than the single pair
of letters he's already earned, but that does not diminish his long-held
ambition to collect the entire series of belt loops, "
Isn't that my point. :-) It is a wonderful goal to set out for. Collecting
the entire series of belt loops provides him the opportunity to try sports and
academics he may not otherwise have tried. But at the end, he receives some
recognition for his accomplishments.
"nor my desire to stay
involved with his activities. The Sports and Academic program is a very
useful tool to encourage boys to try many activities, to supplement den
planning, to encourage parents to be active with their sons and to provide
recognition for achievement outside the scout program. But encouraging the
collection of as many duplicate awards as possible does not strike me as a
useful or cost-effective goal."
Nor me. Please do not misunderstand me.:-) I do not teach my Scouts or my
children that how many awards, trophies or certificates you have on your wall
indicates the kind of person you are. I will never forget my, now, 11 year
old son's first experience with the Pinewood Derby almost 3 years ago. His
car never even made it to the end of the track. Was he upset? No. When his
dad turned to him in support, my son said, "It's okay, dad. I enjoyed all the
special time I had with you making the car." He gave my husband the biggest
hug and smiled. That car became his award. Everytime my son, husband or
myself look at that car, it reminds us of that special time. I do not
encourage accumulating awards just to see how many you can get. I encourage
awards like that car, to remind you of that special time you had working
towards it. Maybe what I see in each letter is a memory of the time a boy
spent with his parent or another adult working together towards a common goal.
Thank you for your comments, Dan.
Knox Trail Council, MA
Den Leader, Advance Chair
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City