Scouts-L Mail Archive for June of 1999: Re: ASM father signing off on rank advancement?
Re: ASM father signing off on rank advancement?
Bruce E. Cobern
Fri, 11 Jun 1999 12:49:35 -0400
From: NeilLup@AOL.COM <NeilLup@AOL.COM>
Date: Friday, June 11, 1999 11:17 AM
>In a message dated 6/10/99 1:47:00 PM, ajmako@NLS.NET writes:
><<A Scout need not be proficient in a
>skill to complete the requirements, but he must do his best. If you
>require proficiency for one skill, you have to require proficiency in
>all the other skills as well. That's a very difficult thing to do.>>
>Oh my, Tony, do you really mean this?
>I tried my best to swim 50 feet. I only made ten, but it was my best.
>I would be very interested to learn if there is a reference stating
>objective level of proficiency is not the appropriate standard but
>your best." Rather, I strongly believe that there IS an objective
>performance which is required. If a Scout tries his sincere best and
>not meet that objective level, it is our duty and responsibility to
>to improve his capability so that he will be able to meet the objective
>level. But personally, I have great trouble with "do your best"
>This is even true, as I understand it, for boys with disabilities. If
>your best" were the standard, then there would be no need for
>requirements. The disabled youth would simply do his best and
>objective performance, be passed. Rather, I believe if his best does
>meet the objective standard and the judgement is made that he is unable
>meet the objective standard regardless of how hard he tries and
>himself, he is allowed to substitute a requirement that he can meet,
>is suggested that substitute requirement be equal in difficult
>means) to the requirement being substituted.
>Tony, I hope I am not flaming you, but I regard this as an extremely
>important matter of interpretation and one highly deserving of
Glad YOU wrote this email. It saved me from having to do be the first
to do so. Now I can be the second. :-) I think Tony may be using a
dictionary definition of "proficient" while the original poster might
have been using a more "current" definition which is closer to "do well"
or "do correctly." I fully agree with you that in Boy Scouting the Cub
Scout "do your best" criterion no longer pertains.
I have for years counseled Scoutmasters that if you want to IMPROVE both
the quality and quantity of advancement in their units they MUST set
QUALITATIVE standards for what they will accept, that these standards
need to be set, UP FRONT and EARLY ON, and that the unit then has to
administer them fairly and objectively. It is NOT enough to just cook a
meal, and not be concerned about not just whether it is edible, but how
edible it is. A Scout should not be signed off on the cooking
requirements until he has prepared a meal that he AND the other members
of his patrol would be willing to accept as edible and suitable at any
campout their patrol was on.
If you demand this you find that the boys rise to the occasion. It
might take them a little longer to advance, but they will be "with" the
program and will, ultimately, stay longer, learn more, and get learn
much more of the REAL aims - character, citizenship, & fitness.
When we accept just anything that comes close to meeting the
requirements what we end up with is a troop that understands that
minimal performance is acceptable. The boys who want to skate by aren't
likely to stay in the program no matter what we do, so they leave, but
the go-getters ultimately get upset that others are achieving the "same"
recognition with much less effort so they either reduce their effort or
get fed up and quit. The end result is that you lose not only the
marginal Scouts who would have left anyway, but you lose the Scouts who
would have stayed, or at least you reduce the level of their effort. To
me that is clearly a lose-lose situation.
(BTW: I saw Tony's reply to your post last night, before I saw this
post of yours, so I am aware of Tony's reply to your post when I write
Bruce E. Cobern