Scouts-L Mail Archive for February of 1999: Re: Alternative Requirements (was Swimming)
Re: Alternative Requirements (was Swimming)
Bruce E. Cobern
Thu, 4 Feb 1999 18:02:07 -0500
> From: jay.thal <email@example.com>
> Subject: Alternative Requirements (was Swimming)
> Date: Thursday, February 04, 1999 5:26 PM
> I wish to thank Bruce for the clarifications.
> I, for one, have not seen any revisions that apply to Form No.
> Irving, TX, undoubtedly unintentionally, failed to deliver a
> package and as the new SM Handbook shows (page 130) they mistakenly
> changed the alternate requirements as they applied to physically
> disAbled Scouts.
What is the latest version of 58-730 that is out there? I don't have
any here at work, so I don't know how recent mine at home are. I seem
to recall there being a problem with at least one of the lists of
alternative merit badges where all of the substitutions were dropped as
merit badges. This probably was not as a result of anything done this
year, but rather a couple of years ago when a number of badges were
eliminated. Does anybody remember that? Paul? If so, has national
done anything about that, or are councils on their own?
> Given the choice I'd opt for one victim, not two. Posthumous awards
> valor only make the givers feel better.
But if you are not sure there will be two victims, do you not put
yourself at risk in the hope that there will be NO victims? Could you
actually stand by and watch someone drown if you knew how to swim but
didn't have any formal rescue training? Is that what you are
recommending? I would agree that someone who KNOWS they can't swim,
for example, probably shouldn't try a swimming rescue, but people very
often manage to do things they never would have thought possible when
they are highly motivated. Besides, if you "swap" victims and the
rescuer is the only one lost, do you KNOW that he wouldn't feel
satisfied at giving up his own life to save another? These are
probably too deeply philosophical for this forum, but I'm not sure that
it is foolhardy to attempt to rescue someone, even at great risk to
your own life.
> > However, when evaluating the success of our program, shouldn't we
> > really be looking at whether the program has helped this young man
> > in Character, Citizenship and Fitness? Those are the criteria that
> > relate to the aims of our program, not whether he can tie a sheet
> > or even whether he can swim or do an in-water rescue.
> Hear, hear!!
> > There is (or should be) a certain minimum "character set," using
> > character to encompass ALL THREE of the intangibles that are the
> > of our program.
> That would require a crystal ball.
I'm not talking about anything quantitative, rather qualitative,
subjective determinations. I know too many people in Scouting try to
turn subjective decisions into objective ones, but things like
character/citizenship/fitness evaluations are, of necessity,
subjective. Couldn't you create a list of the types of intangible
assets you believed every Eagle Scout should possess?
> The measurement can be made only
> after the fact when the action(s) is spontaneous and the Scout
> consider that he's being observed. It's like the "basic" Quantum
> Physics concept that the very act of observation effects the results
> (when they are "under" our scrutiny).
That sounds an awful lot like the watched pot which never boils. :-)
> Our sincere hope is that is that
> we will effect results when we're no longer observing.
And when people do the right thing because it is the right thing,
that's when we know they've got it. But it is not impossible to
develop a feel for whether a person has the type of character that
would be prone to that type of action. My point is that, to me, at
least, getting that kind of good feeling about an Eagle candidate is
far more important than which of the Scout skills he has retained.
Bruce E. Cobern