Re: Arrow of Light--Attendance policy
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Fri, 13 Feb 1998 00:37:46 -0500
Many times I've heard folks say that Scouting would be wonderful, if it
wasn't for the parents getting into squabbles.
My first reaction to the situation you described is to that we as
Scouters need to look at things from a boy perspective and not fuss to
much with adults that may have an axe to grind or an attitude problem.
Did this young fellow participate in the "Cub Scout Program" of his Pack?
This is the issue. If he earned awards, went to Pack Meetings or
activities as he was able (and this may be hard if his parents never were
there to drive him) and worked through his requirements, it is hard to
believe he shouldn't receive the rank he has earned.
What this sounds like to me is a case where a parent has taken the part
their child; e.g., the I don't want the badge if he gets it. Seems to me
that this parent would be better advised to counsel their own child about
awards being given to each according to whether that Scout has done his
own best under his own circumstances. Maybe this pugnacious Cub needs a
little role playing where he has to answer how he'd feel if he were in
the other fellow's shoes. Same for the mother.
For me it comes down to the issue of What is right for the boy? If this
boy did his best and was participating as best he could, whether he
attended den meetings or not, I'd certainly give him the award.
As a side issue I'd really like to know why he didn't attend den meetings.
It may be instructive to know. Perhaps he was harassed at the meetings
or made to feel unwelcome. Perhaps there were hard feelings between
families. Maybe the den leader's son was a bully. Who knows. Could be a
lot of things. Could be that the boy was behind in homework, had school
problems, had home or family problems, etc.
The idea of advancement is to reward achievement to encourage the growth
of young boys in ways that help them develop character and citizenship.
The reward of a rank is an inducement to further good growth and
development. Withholding it because of some petty personality thing also
conditions behavior. It teaches the boy that his good efforts do not
matter - that what does matter are things beyond his control. This leads
a boy to decide not to try - it isn't worth it. Which way do we want
this young fellow to go? Do we want to reward him and encourage him for
doing his personal best or do we want him to tune out and perhaps drop
out, maybe end up in a different kind of gang?
M F. Bowman, | The NetCommish http://members.aol.com/netcommish
Speaking in | Professor Beaver Online - http://usscouts.org/profbvr/
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