scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: Re: Very Important Question
Paul Perkinz (perkinz@EXP.NET
Sat Feb 05 2000 - 20:11:31 CST
The issue of the WDL "suddenly" announcing that a Webelos isn't
qualified to receive the AOL because he hasn't been "active" has been
addressed from many perspectives and by using more than one criteria and
authoritative source. At the risk of continuing the already-worn thread
(hey, at least I'll have more than one with which to share the blame
) ), here's one more. Since most of my posts are at the computer at
work, I'll have to rely on a tired memory-if I mis-quote and/or take
something someone said out of strict context, I stand corrected now.
First, look at the requirements for the AOL. I don't have the new book
so I'm going by the old one (immediately prior to the one currently in
publication). There are six requirements, each with a primary action
verb such as "Be," Show," Give and explain," "Repeat from memory," "Know
and tell," "Earn," "Visit," "Participate," and "Complete an
application." Based on Darryl's account of the Webelos' performance, he
has done these things. I don't remember the WDL discounting his AOL
qualification because he didn't do one or more of these requirements, so
I must assume that not only did he do them, the WDL signed off on them,
indicating both knowledge of the Webelos' progress and his intention of
competing the requirements for AOL.
My first thought, upon reading the account Darryl gave, was, "How can a
Webelos do all these things and NOT be active?" As has been pointed out
here on the list, National has not "clarified" the definition of the
term (judging from the various descriptions of what it means or doesn't
mean); not necessarily a judgement, just an observation. Lacking such a
definition, I refer to Webster's, which has as the first definition,
"characterized by action, rather than by contemplation or speculation."
I think it quite clear that when the Webelos "showed" (assumably to the
WDL) his knowledge of the requirements to become a Boy Scout, he was
being active. When he "gave and explained" (again to the WDL?) the
Scout motto, slogan, sign, salute, and handclsp, he was being active.
What about when he "earned" five more activity badges for a total of
eight. That seems pretty active to me. "Visiting" a Boy Scout Troop
meeting and one Boy Scout outdoor ACTIVITY (caps mine); well, isn't
that, by definition, active?
The same thing can be said for every single one of the "other five" AOL
requirements: The Webelos was active enough to set as a goal the AOL,
start the requirements, and finish them. The WDL even verified this
when they signed off on them.
Next, look at the wording in some of the requirements. #1 contains two
major requirements: "Be active," and "for six months..." #2 contains a
"quantifiable" condition in that it requires completion of "all" of the
subset items. #3 specifies "five more" activity badges for a total of
eight. #4 indicates that the Webelos should visit "at least one" Boy
Scout troop meeting and "one" Boy-Scout outdoor oriented activity.
All these requirements have one thing in common: National has included
a numerical value as a condition of completion to the requirement.
In fact, the only numerical conditions of completion on Item #1 are the
"six month" requirement and the age-related stipulation. To me, the
real focus of this requirement is that of tenure, NOT of the meaning of
the word "active."
>From my perspective, this is about a Webelos who has set himself a goal
of earning the AOL. He has read the requirements, understood them, and
set about doing those things necessary to earn it. Along the way, he
assumably got approval for completion from his WDL. And then, suddenly
and without warning, he is told that he doesn't qualify for the AOL
because he hasn't been "active?"
I ask, "Where is the 'in-action' in this young boy's performance?"
As I told Darryl, I would much rather have a Webelos who misses "some"
(feel free to plug in any number here-it doesn't really matter that much
to me) den meetings and actively pursues and completes the requirements
for the goal of AOL than any number of Webelos who attend every meeting,
yet only manage to "contemplate and speculate" what it would be like to
Perhaps as a last resort, I would suggest to Darryl to ask the WDL one
question: "What else would you have him do?" And if the WDL is able to
articulate an answer, I would suggest that they be reminded that adding
to the requirements simply isn't allowed. While National may be
vague/unclear/whatever on a lot of things, this isn't one of them.
Probably much more than 0.02, but just one more perspective.
ASM, Troop 11
Cub RT Commissioner
Three Rivers Council
...and a Good Old Fox, too (SR 320-Philmont)
Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly.