Scouts-L Mail Archive for November of 1998: Scholar pin or ??
Scholar pin or ??
Wed, 25 Nov 1998 21:00:43 EST
A Cub Scouter plans to do the Scholar pin with the Webelos den, but there is
one kid who won't be able to complete it successfully (I'm taking her word for
it here... I'm sure she's taken pains to be sure of her facts). She wants to
know if she should plan to do a different one instead...
If I change the pin now the boys are going to know why. Is it fair that
I change things now and send the message that if you can't earn a pin
then I will change things so you don't have to deal with it?
In a word, no. One of the hardest lessons to give a kid is that you have to do
the requirements to get the award, or grade, or prize, or whatever. I hasten
to add that it's not a hard lesson *in itself*... it's a hard one for the kid
to get because in this culture we have become so afraid of hurting little
Algernon's precious self-esteem that we never allow him exposure to any
experience in which he might, in fact, fail.
This backfires bigtime, however, when Algernon inevitably DOES fail at
something; he has had no practice handling and overcoming smaller failures,
and so a bigger one blows him away. THIS is lousy for self esteem. Far better
that he should have the practice of smaller failures and develop genuine
respect for himself by overcoming them stepwise as he grows up. It's one more
life skill we all have to get, or be unable to deal with reality when we no
longer have mommies and den leaders to cover our butts for us.
Moreover, you are exactly right when you note that the rest of the boys (and
their parents, too, eh?) will get the message that if something migh be hard
you'll fix it so they won't have to deal with it. I think you know the answer.
Do the right thing.
But explain to everyone exactly what you expect, the same as you did when you
taught them how to tie a knot. praise and reinforce successes, work on the
things that need work, and award the pin to those who earn it. Offer your
problem child any extra help he might need to complete the requirements..
"This seems like it might be hard for you. What do you think would help you
finish the ...... requirement, here?"..... but it's ultimately he who must
earn the pin. It's a good lesson for the whole den.
let us know how it works out!
SA T44 Pocasset MA
Cape Cod & Islands Council
Abake MiSaNaKi Lodge #393
NSJ 1997 Nat'l Health & Safety
I useta be an Eagle...
'The staff is old and feeble, and we can sing no more,
So we're getting out of Gilwell while we can!'