Scouts-L Mail Archive for June of 1999: Re: Needed-Voices of Experience
Re: Needed-Voices of Experience
Tue, 29 Jun 1999 07:25:34 -0400
While there are always exceptions, a Scout that is allowed to advance so fast
will probably quit Scouting by the age of 15 because there are no more
advancement possibilities. At his present age and rank he probably hasn't
attained the maturity to effectively deal with leadership issues that the older
Scouts can deal with because they have the experience. What troop positions
has he held? Have they been real leadership positions like Patrol Leader or
SPL or have they been mostly ones like Scribe, Quartermaster, and Bugler?
While they qualify as leadership positions the Scout doesn't learn or use
One of the purposes of the advancement committee is to manage the advancement
program within the troop by making sure that as a Scout advances he has the
maturity to handle the rank that he is trying to achieve. The mere fact that a
Scout has completed the requirements to advance does not mean that he is ready
to advance. The Scoutmaster can also be a part of this process through his
Scoutmaster Conferences. I feel that both the Scoutmaster and the Advancement
Committee were lax in their duties by permitting such rapid advancement.
The BSA used to help manage the advancement program by requiring a time period
between Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, and 1st Class. When they stopped using the
handbook that had been written by Bill Hillcourt and switched to the "new
scouting" with a flashy handbook they modified the advancement program and made
it easier to advance. I don't believe they did the Scouts any favors when they
This young man will need some special challenges to keep his interest. The
possibility of OA membership may help in this. If he can can be guided into
channeling some of his energies into the OA he may be able to develop the
skills to be of help to his troop and learn to be a leader because he'll have
to deal with other people he doesn't know which is a whole different ball game.
By the way, I've been in this situation with my oldest son when he was
advancing. He made Star fairly young and fortunately his Scoutmaster put the
brakes on. My other son was just the opposite - he didn't seem to care that
much about advancement but eventually did advance. They both made Eagle
between age 16-17. My sons are now 24 and 26 years old.
Gary Apfelstadt wrote:
> Here is a situation that needs your voice of experience, your point of view
> and reflection. The following message includes the comments, query &
> response between myself & a fellow Wood Badge Patrol mate.
> Thanks in advance for your comments on or off Scouts-L
> Gary Apfelstadt
> Prairielands Council, Champaign, IL
> C-19-97 Bear Patrol
> >My youngest son, Anson just got his Star
> >tonight. He just joined the troop thirteen months ago. He didn't do
> >this on paper...he is not a paper Star. Anyway, can
> >you tell that I am just a little proud of my sons?
> Response III: Yes, and this is the way it's best !
> >Third and last is my dilemma. I need some advice from people that I
> >know I can trust to tell me exactly what they believe and maybe not just
> >what I want to hear. So shoot from the hip on this one guys, please.
> >Anson has been camping with us since he was a Tiger Cub and I told Jim I
> >had a feeling that when Anson crossed over that he would hit the ground
> >running because of his experiences, and we wouldn't be able to stop
> >him. Well, he did just that. He now outranks some boys that are four
> >years older than him and have been in the troop since they were eleven.
> >Anson is only eleven and is Star. At the rate he is going, he could
> >theoretically be an Eagle by the time he is thirteen. Aaron made Eagle
> >when he was sixteen after sitting out a year, so he could have done it
> >at fifteen. I am proud of both of them, but was somewhat embarrassed
> >tonight because we gave a First Class to a thirteen year old boy who was
> >very proud of his accomplishment. In Anson's case, it looks like
> >Scoutmaster favoritism. It most certainly isn't, as Jim wouldn't even
> >allow me to be at Anson's board of review...wise move on Jim's part.
> >But perception can be an ugly thing sometimes. My question is, what
> >would you do? Would you slow him down and break his momentum and
> >possibly risk losing his interest, or just let him forge ahead at his
> >own desired pace and let the chips fall where they may?
> Response IV: I am facing the same situation with my son Clay: he
> received his Star rank at our May Court of Honor and he will turn 12 in
> two weeks.
> We're in the midst of the same questions and reflections. Hot pursuit or
> dogged reluctance.
> Also, our troop is undergoing some changes with a new Scoutmaster so the
> procedures and program will more likely than not duplicate last year's
> There is a likelihood that Clay will be 'tapped out' this week at the
> Council Summer Camp.
> I am hoping that some new excitement and challenges with OA will pick up
> the needed slack that his age presents, to keep a positive Scouting
> momentum while time is marked for the ripening of his age relative to Life
> & Eagle Ranks.
> >From watching his interest (he is attending 2 weeks of week-long summer
> camp) he will probably bust through to Life Scout in 6 to 8 months.
> Hopefully, the monthly troop program will be sufficiently different to
> attract his continued interest relative to sports, school, girls, etc.
> On occasion he has talked of taking two to three years after Life rank to
> experience Troop activities, and to plan and complete his Eagle Project. I
> am cuurently looking for Out-of-Council and Extra-troop-curricular
> activities for he and I to attend, benefit from, and to kept the coals
> kindled in his spirit.
> Alas, a reflection of a scouting parent.
> Alas, the parent of a kid with excellent attendance, and scouting skills.
> Alas, a kid who can be a benefit for his fellow scouts and friends.
> If only we provide the breath of air, as they bring the spark, tinder, and
> YIS, Gary Apfelstadt