Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: Re: Advancement Transfer Question
Re: Advancement Transfer Question
Mon, 19 Oct 1998 13:46:01 -0400
>> Since the Scout has already completed his time requirement and has made
>> as far as working on his last Life merit badge, why not rely on the fact
>> that "A Scout is Trustworthy" and assume Scout Spirit?
Bruce Cobern replied:
>Maybe because that would be abdicating the SM's responsibility? Does the
>SM just take the word of every other Scout that he has met the
>requirement? Or does he supplement the Scout's assertions with personal
>If it is okay to take the Scout's word in this instance, then why not take
>the Scout's word every time he comes up to you and said he has completed
>any other requirement, like First Aid or Lashing?
Wow, Bruce! To say that I was advocating the abdication of responsibility
is a little harsh! What I was really saying is that while we don't do the
Scouts any favors by blowing off requirements, I don't think we benefit them
by subjecting them to an aura of suspicion and mistrust. I truly think a
transferred Scout has sufficiently demonstrated Scout Spirit by the fact
he's on his last merit badge for life. He didn't earn all the others and
serve his period of responsibility by being spiritless! While there's
always the possibility his last Scoutmaster was a fool, I think it remote
and we serve the boy much better by giving him the benefit of the doubt and
showing a little trust!
>I believe that no matter how he "verifies" this, the SM will, ultimately,
>be relying on the word of the Scout in this instance, but I don't believe
>that some level of independent verification or time to get to know the
>Scout is unwarranted. Further, I believe the Scout will most likely fully
>understand this need and be willing to cooperate. Again, this need not
>become a confrontational issue between the Scout and the SM. They should
>be working together to make sure everyone is comfortable with the
While I agree with this in principle and I certainly can't find fault with
getting to know a new boy better, in practice we end up forcing the transfer
to wait unnecessarily for no other reason that we find him untrustworthy.
We are presuming him to be Spiritless until he proves he has Spirit! Call
it naivete, but I prefer not to live in that world. Let's trust the boys
and the judgement of their previous leaders at least until they give us a
concrete reason not to!
ASM, Troop 381