scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: Cub Award Guidelines
Mark Adkins (madkins007@HOME.COM
Sat Feb 05 2000 - 15:45:36 CST
The recent discussion on 'active' for the Arrow of Light reminds me of other
discussions I have been involved in concerning other Cub rank requirements.
If I may, I would like to offer some guidelines for leaders we often discuss
in our training sessions:
Rule 1.) Do not reinterpret or push requirements to be harder than
necessary. The guiding rule should be "Do Your Best". Example: Many leaders
make Bobcats memorize the Promise or Law. The standard is either "know and
understand..." or "Say and tell about..."- 'memorize' is not mentioned in
ANY current BSA literature for Bobcat (although the Arrow of Lights requires
memorization of the Boy Scout Oath and Laws.) Apply the "Do Your Best" rule-
if the Scout has an easy time memorizing, then it is an reasonable standard.
If he has trouble with it, then it is unreasonable (i.e.- if he has not
reliably memorized his address, for example, it is very unrealistic to
expect him to memorize this!)
Rule 2.) Remember our Purposes, Goals, Mission, etc. Is what you are doing
supporting our overall purpose? Denying a Webelos Scout the AOL because of a
debatable interpretation of 'active' may not be helping to develop his
character or guiding him along the path to Scouting- in fact, it may be
doing the opposite! On the other hand, making things too easy does not
support our purposes either.
Rule 3.) Does your decision help or hurt the Scout, his family, the den, the
pack, the leadership, and/or Scouting as a whole? Making a Bobcat work
beyond his ability to memorize the Promise, for example, will only hurt
everyone involved. The leader will appear uncaring or rigid and the movement
may well loose a valuable member.
Finally, Rule 4.) Is the fight worth it? Lets say you awarded a rank that
the boy did not, in your opinion, earn, but you awarded it anyway because of
pressure from other leaders, parents, etc. In Cub Scouts (the Boy Scouts are
a different matter), ranks are not tracked above the Council level, and few
people outside of Scouting are impressed by them. It is like cheating on a
test- the cheater is hurt the worst, and generally everyone in the class
knows who is cheating, even if they are not publicly 'caught'. I suggest
that it is better to let a bad situation go than to fight it and get an
ulcer or tear apart a unit.
Please note that NONE of these 'rules' is meant to CHANGE any requirements,
they are just guidelines to help find your way through the 'iffy' ones!