scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: Re: Scout Spirit and Advancement
Connie M. Novak (Used2bBear@AOL.COM
Tue Apr 25 2000 - 03:54:52 CDT
Our troop did have a Scout who did not pass his BOR for "Scout Spirit" reasons. It was not the same thing as the requirement of Scout Spirit. This was a generally good kid, with a good school record, typical for his age as far as attitude, i.e. doesn't put on the front page that he's a Scout, but doesn't deny it either. However, the night of this BOR, (we assumed he had a really bad day or something) he came in with an smart-aleck attitude that was, at best, irritating and non-Scout-like. The BOR chairman simply called a stop to the BOR and informed the Scout that perhaps he should think about how he wants to present himself and that the BOR would continue in 2 weeks, but not until an apology was made to the members of the BOR for his behavior.
Now, here's the difference between these two situations. When we delayed the rank advancement, the FIRST thing we did was have the Scout's dad meet with us to explain why. We also explained that there were certain things (like the apology) that were required for the BOR to continue. We also asked that the Dad NOT push his son to any conclusions, but be a sounding board, since perhaps the Scout needed to talk to someone about a problem but didn't know how.
Turns out the Scout Spirit problem was only temporary and the Scout came back and apologized. After talking it turned out that he'd just been stressed out to the breaking point the day of his original BOR. He was being pushed to excel in school, working a job, doing Scouts, in the school band (it was concert season), in the state finals for some acedemic competition, etc.,etc. - and the biggest problem was his dad was pushing him to get his rank advancement to make Eagle (the BOR was for Star)before a certain dad-imposed time-limit! He was a great kid going into his original BOR and he's still a great kid (now in medical school!!). It was just a REALLY BAD DAY for him and he needed time to put things in perspective. Our Scout's lack of Scout Spirit was a temporary situation- he did pass his BOR on the second try.
If I was this mom, I'd ask to speak to the BOR members to find out if there was a particular problem and what their recommendations to the Scout had been to correct them. But Mom should remember that this is Boy Scouts not Mom Scouts - she cannot correct the behavior - only the Scout can. She definitely needs to support her son by finding out the information about the problem, but she needs to encourage him to use this as an opportunity to grow and take a look at himself and see what others see instead of what he sees. Perhaps her son is in the same boat as our Scout - just too stressed out and having a bad day and just needs some time.
Let us know how it turns out-