scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: Re: Important Update (Why)
Mark Adkins (madkins007@HOME.COM
Mon Feb 07 2000 - 23:00:02 CST
In my own opinion, Cub Scouts, and thus Webelos Scouts, are encouraged to
work together certainly, but that the accomplishments of the individuals are
more important than those of the den or pack.
My opinion is based on:
- The individual focus of the ideals (Promise, Motto, etc.).
- Dens are not often recognized with awards or recognitions. In fact, I can
only think of two den awards- Quality Den and Den Summertime, neither of
which has any strong teamwork elements to them.
- The structure of the den is not really that of a team or structured to
share duties or tasks.
- Most Cub Scout activities are individual and family based, rather than den
or team based- even the Webelos Activity Pins are earned more by individuals
than by teams (that is, the 'advanced' boys rarely help the others. Such
help usually comes from parents or leaders.)
- The premise of 'Instant Recognition" supports the idea that individuals
should receive what they earn immediately- whether or not their den mates
are at the same level.
- The Cub Scout Leader Book, in general, does not seem to support the idea
of dens as teams either.
In fact, as I think about it, I have a hard time thinking of ANYTHING the
den does as a team- that is, as a group pulling together to meet a common
objective (outside of games).
Now, another issue to consider is the idea of what Cub Scouts offers beyond
the AOL. Currently, you stop just BARELY short of joining a troop when you
get the AOL and it is obvious that the BSA's intentions are that you would
graduate into Boy Scouting almost immediately afterwards. I admit it is
strongly to be preferred when an entire den can cross over at once, but this
is an ideal that does not happen as often as we would like- the graduating
group may be too small, or going to different units, or just not going on
As to WHY this is, I can offer two possibilities: 1- developmental ages:
According to the BSA, youth at this point are to really into teamwork quite
yet. Pushing for development before the youth has grown into it is an
exercise in frustration and futility. 2- tradition: Cub Scouts has been a
individual and family-oriented group for so long, that is just the way
things are thought of.
Do I think this is the BEST deal- heck, I really don't know!
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ken Faris" <kfaris@FLASH.NET>
Sent: Monday, February 07, 2000 7:04 PM
Subject: Re: Important Update (Why)
> I am simply going to ask a question. It is neither a statement or a
> position stance on this subject of the AOL award. Under current BSA
> guidelines, I believe that the awarding of the AOL was correct ( that is
> official stance.) Do I agree with the current BSA guidelines concerning
> this issue (No.)
> My question is this:
> Should we continue to be an organization that promotes the abilities or
> accomplishments of the sole individual as always more important, than the
> concept of the individual working for the greater good of the whole (den
> (Additional commentary)
> It seems to me that this young Webelos by his work ethic has proven that
> is worthy of the AOL in all respects under current guidelines. Yet, what
> his actions show by dropping attendance, etc... just because he (the
> individual) has reached his goal; while his team (den) is still working to
> accomplish theirs. I seem to feel most times that we (BSA & Volunteer
> Leaders) send a mixed message to these young, impressionable minds. Our
> programs seem to be set up for individual accomplishments but we seem to
> talk and teach group responsibility. I am glad that most fourteen and
> fifteen year old Eagle Scouts, don't approach Scouting with the same
> as this young Webelos Scout.
> Ken Faris
> Palestine, Texas
> P.S. Yes, I do have my flame retardant suit on :-)