Steven G. Tyler (sgtyler@EROLS.COM)
Wed, 24 Jun 1998 08:30:14 -0400
I'm sorry to be such a bomb-throwing radical, but I've never been a real
fan of form over substance, nor one of adult excuses for arbitrary rules
(my favorite was "If I let you go to the bathroom, I'll have to let
everyone else go." What, I have that much control over the bladders of
Jerome J Phillips wrote, in part:
> 1. Allowing a boy to combine the requirements may streamline his
> advancement but it does not teach him patience.
I can assure you that the Scouts have had, and will continue to have,
many opportunities to learn patience. They have considerably fewer
opportunities to see adults interpret rules in a logical fashion. Don't
miss *that* chance in the rush to make them repeat the same task, just
because there are two separate requirements in the book. Or perhaps you
can explain to *me* how, as others have said, you can swim 100 yards
using 4 different strokes without necessarily swimming 50 yards using
two strokes? [I don't have the book in front of me, so please excuse my
lapse if I've misquoted the requirements]
> 2. Spending time with the kids, even doing redundant tasks, is not as
> one person put it "a waste of time".
No, but not nearly as valuable as time spent in real accomplishment,
rather than in arbitrary and redundant activities.
> 3. When having someone repeat a task over again are there not other
> things that they are being exposed to? Possibly learn from? - Such as a
> re-enforcement of the correct way of running a swim test.
You're somewhat begging the question, Jerome -- whether it is proper to
give credit for the 2nd Class requirement when the 1st Class requirement
is met in the swim test *is* the question.
Beyond that, I suppose *any* activity, including manually filling out
forms in triplicate at the DMV, could have some value, but there's more
value in interpreting the requirements in a logical fashion than in
creating mindless, repetitive and, IMHO, unnecessary activities.
> 4. I come from the old school where we had to wait for time in grade
> before advancing. Each step of the way we had to prove ourselves
> repeatedly. This not only helped to re-enforce what we had already
> learned but also let our older leaders know that we knew how to do it
> right and could pass the information down to the younger boys.
Perhaps. If a program is set up to reinforce skills periodically (as
the Scouting program does, by and large), I suppose there's no harm in
repeating the same activities. However, the question is whether passing
one requirement also qualifies the Scout on lesser included activities,
not whether repetition of skill activities is preferable.
YIS, Steve on Cattail Creek <Steven G. Tyler>, Severna Park, MD, USA
"The Computer Counselor," Technology Consulting for the Law Office
Advancement Chair and de facto Webmaster, Troop 339,
Baltimore Area Council, BSA (http://members.aol.com/troop339/)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City