scouts-l Mail Archive for July of 2000: Re: How much help can I give?
Bruce E. Cobern (bec@PIPELINE.COM
Wed Jul 05 2000 - 18:50:01 CDT
> What of the following could I do (as both SM and father)
> before others will say that he did not earn the badge himself?
The first, most important, thing you can do for him, IMO, is make sure he
understands several things:
- He does not have to make Eagle for you to love him.
- He does not have to make Eagle for you to be proud of him.
- He does not have to make Eagle to have been successful in Scouting.
- He does not have to make Eagle for "validation."
Once you are sure he understands and believes all of the above, in one form
or another, then the two of you can sit down, if he decides he wants to do
it, and map out a strategy, agree on how much pushing is enough, and how
much is too much, etc.
As I believe I've said before, one of our recent Eagles, in his thank you
comments, thanked me specifically for telling him he did NOT have to make
Eagle. It was at that point that he made up his mind to do it.
> -- Sit down and help him schedule the rest of his merit badge work.
No problem here.
> -- Give him phone numbers of contacts for organizations that
> could benefit from Eagle scout projects.
No real problem here either. However, I would probably precede that with a
discussion about what TYPE of project he is interested in doing. Discuss
the things he enjoys and focus your efforts in that direction. Encourage
HIM to list for you some of the things he sees around him that he would
like to improve. As he narrows down the type of project he wants to do,
THEN you can help him by providing contact information for possible
resources and beneficiaries.
> -- Give him ideas for projects at various organizations.
I'd prefer a discussion like I describe above, but this would also probably
> -- Act as counselor for two Eagle Required merit badges that I
> am doing for other Life Scouts with committee approval.
I don't like a parent EVER counseling his/her son, and our SM will
generally NOT assign a parent as a counselor for a Scout. Then again,
counselor resources might be much scarcer in South Bend than they are in
NYC (or they might not be). IF you were working with a GROUP of Scouts on
a mb, I would have less problem with you counseling your son.
> -- Approve a below average Eagle project. (By definition half
> of all Eagle Scouts did a below average project.)
I wouldn't be the one to approve his project. Have one of your assistants
do it. And never discuss projects in terms of "below average." Projects
can be "acceptable" or "spectacular," but I wouldn't refer to a project as
below average, because the average is irrelevant.
> I personally would be surprised to see him make Eagle, but would be very
> happy if he did. So, where is the line?
Well I would try not to convey the first part of that sentence to him. If
he feels you feel that way it might turn him off toward the endeavor.
Bruce E. Cobern
Founders District, Queens Council, NY