Scouts-L Mail Archive for June of 1999: Re: Needed-Voices of Experience
Re: Needed-Voices of Experience
Settummanque, the blackeagle
Tue, 29 Jun 1999 17:58:55 -0500
Hey Gary! You asked us all:
>Here is a situation that needs your voice of experience, your point of
>view and reflection.
>>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
>>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..... 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?
Okay....First, I would NEVER stop a Scout from progressing at his own pace
at his own time table. The BSA's advancement program is flexible enough for
every Scout to earn a whole lot of stuff before he turns 18.
The challenge of getting that Scout to energize himself is the one that will
have to be addressed.
I'm going to do a little bragging here, so please excuse me. As a younger
Scout, my Scoutmaster and other Scouters had no problem motivating me toward
Eagle as long as I knew what the goal was and as long as I saw visual
examples of other Eagle Scouts. When the Scoutmaster stole our unit fund
and ran off to the west coast, my Scouting stopped because I was both
embarrassed and mad that an adult that we placed our confidences in would do
such a thing. It took me out of Scouting for a year. If I didn't sit out
that year, I would have been an Eagle Scout by age 14 instead of 15. I
would have continued to earn Eagle Palms, possibly breaking the "local
record" for Eagle Palms at that time, which was three Silver Palms ("Red"
Stovall, Troop 233 in Elizabethtown and Darrell Laes, Troop 127, Fort Knox).
I was one of those "self-motivated" Scouts, since my parents were not
particularily interested in what I did.
If some Scoutmaster or Advisor would have "toned me down", I would have
become discouraged and probably found something else to put my emphasis
upon...and probably left Scouting right after making Eagle if not before.
Second, every Scoutmaster has a responsibility to make every Scout feel like
that his trek toward Eagle is unique, important, and almost a neccessity.
We as Scoutmasters are the "head cheerleaders" for our Scouts, and when a
Scout advances at a faster pace or when he's slowed down to a crawl, we are
the ones that need to be there encouraging him onward. So for a Scoutmaster
to tell a Scout "hey look Anson...you need to slow down a bit...you're going
to burn yourself out" is not doing so in the best interest of the
Scout..there's something else going on behind the scenes here.....
Finally, most Scouts need that bit of encouragement because they aren't
getting it from home or their peers. Moreso now than in my day. In my day,
I ran around with peers whom were also Scouts and had older peers whom were
Scouts...and Eagle Scouts at that. There was a lot of motivation from them
for me to make Eagle and a lot of personal "pride" in not only getting me to
complete the merit badges, select and complete the service projects, and do
a good job at the Board of Review... today, lots of Scouts don't get that
motivation from their peers...their peers!! Most of them aren't Scouts or
for one reason or another get out of Scouts.
Therefore, the only encouragement...positive encourgement...will come from
the Scout's own insides or from Mom and Dad.
Gary, please let that Scout and his parents know that he's doing a GREAT
thing, and NOT to "slow up" for anyone but himself. If the other Scouts
don't understand his desire to do more, then it becomes a matter for the
Scoutmaster and the other adults -- and youth -- to educate the Troop on the
Great going, Anson!
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
Joint Information Bureau Deputy Director
US SOUTHCOM FCE (Enhanced New Horizons)
APO Miami, AA 34042 (Soto Cano AB, Honduras)
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