Re: Uniforms: Scouters/Scouts
Marc Solomon (msolomon@MEGSINET.NET)
Wed, 12 Aug 1998 00:17:37 -0500
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I would have to agree with you that the wrong message is being sent here. I an
very concerned that the inly incentive the comittee could find is money. Of
course, I'm not sure the plan I had instituted at one troop was much better. My
plan was to hold weekly uniform inspections. The patrol with the highest
average each month won a pizza dinner prior to the first troop meeting the next
month. The first month, the competition was lackadasical. But after the Scouts
saw one patrol eating a free pizza dinner, the competition began to heat up. I
soon saw Scouts inspecting each other prior to the begining of the meeting. Of
course, I responded by making the inspections more inclusive (i.e., checking for
brass on brass). The Scouts responded by getting even more competitive. After
a while, though, I started noticing Scouts taking pride in their appearance in
their uniform. They stood up taller, behaved better, and appeared more
confident. There was also an increase in patrol spirit and patrol pride. New
Scouts were being coached by older Scouts in proper uniforming (this was before
New Scout Patrols). After a short four months, the variance in scores between
the highest and lowest patrols each week began to dwindle. Wanting to be fair
to all, I declared the troop a winner and bought pizza for all. I have since
left that troop but have been informed that during the months of September
though December, the weekly uniform inspections return and the prize (and
hopefully the results) is still the same.
Now I was teaching the same lesson your troop is teaching - that you must be
rewarded for something you do. Some benefits to my method over the one your
committee is suggesting are: 1) it also helped bring back patrol spirit. 2)
Teenagers don't look at a pizza dinner with the same type as greed as $100. But
other than that, my method (and the one you proposed) still offers a reward for
BTW, I wouldn't try that bit about assigning the losing patrol lartrine duty.
I, personally, don't think negative reinforcement is an effective teaching tool
and don't see it as implementing the methods of Scouting. Also, it sounds like
it might be classified as hazing.
Marc Solomon Unit Commissioner
mailto:MarcSolomon@Bigfoot.com Sycamore District
mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Blackhawk Area Council (IL)
I use to be a wise old owl . . . Now I'm just old!
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