My husband and I, new leaders this year for Tigers, were asked to quickly pick a scout from our den to receive a campfire pin at the meeting that night. I'm not sure if this is a typical thing but each den picks one scout for overall participation and attitude. In a rush, we picked a great kid but there was really another who deserved it. We will be meeting in a few weeks to earn the horseback riding belt loop and we would really like to figure out a way to acknowledge the boy who really deserved it. He probably doesn't get lot of recogntion on a daily basis and we know it would mean a lot to him. We have never done just den awards so we aren't sure how to approach it, what to award him and what to call this award. Any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated!
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- Oct 2011
- Dec 1999
Welcome to the forums. The cubs are the best ever, enjoy it while you can...soon they'll grow up to become boy scouts, lol.
Chances are that anything you do for recognition will work for this boy. At that age, for a non-family member to offer recognition is a life-confirming event. Their eyes are constantly darting to adults, especially leaders, looking for approval and recognition. You know the boy far better than any of us in these forums. Go with your best judgment and I suspect it will be good. The most important thing is that you have to 'MEAN' whatever you decide to do and make sure he knows that you mean it. I don't know enough about the situation to suggest what to call it.
But most likely it won't have to be something he wears on his uniform. I won't have to be a public ceremony if that doesn't work well. Just coming from you will mean a lot if you present it to him on a formal, but personal, level, perhaps at a den meeting. Your judgment is going to be the best for this.
Many years ago when I was CM I had access to one of the first high-quality color laser printers. I used it to make certificates recognizing all sorts of achievements by the cubs, personalized with their name and unique things like their photo, maybe a couple of words about something that they did. To make it even more personal, an inexpensive frame makes it 'official'.
Wish you the best of success. The cubs are the best of all.(This message has been edited by packsaddle)
He's probably too young to gain a dislike for plaques.
I remember when I was a little older than Tiger, I got "honor camper" at church camp. It meant a lot.
If you have a spare pinewood derby or regatta kit, you could decorate it for him.
- Jun 2006
Recognition in any group is always problematic. On the one hand we have just one super winner that leaves everyone else losers and then on the other hand everyone is a winner. Both seem to be extremes that most people blow off anyway. Over the years, I didn't do much for official recognition other than the program items, beads, badges, patches, etc. However, for the others, it was usually something simple and with no real significance other than to the boy who received it.
Every year we would go on a canoe trip and all the buddies would pair up for the canoes and that meant usually a new scout who hasn't developed much in friendship yet usually gets stuck in the front of an adult's canoe. Basically we need to weight anyway to hold down the front. Anyway, I always whittle a little canoe paddle out of a stick, write the name of the river and date on it and give it to the boy with nothing more than a thanks for riding along with me.
It is surprising how many of these little paddles have appeared on the ECOH tables along with all the other memorabilia that are part of their scouting history.
I have done the Turk's Knot neckerchief woggle for a lot of the boys for various reasons as well.
I have "autographed" their walking sticks with wood-burning using a magnifying glass.
I always make popcorn whenever we have a troop campfire (major ritual in my troop) and always select one of the boys to help. They know they were selected for a reason which I let them know prior to asking them to help. "John, I appreciate what you did to help out the new boys today. I like it when I see such helping going on, wanna help with the popcorn this evening?" They also know they get the last shot at the melted butter once everyone else is served. That always tends to be a rather generous amount.
It is easy to spot the kid that seems to be left out at first. If they garner up a little attention of any sort from the leaders it sometimes help them get better accepted into the group. I had one older boy ask me one time why I spent so much time with one new scout. I said as a leader that was my job, if he wanted to be a leader, too, he could do the same thing. He did.
I had one boy sign up for Swimming MB at camp. Showed up for the swim test and didn't pass. He went to the MB class and worked on passing the swim test every day (one of the instructors took him under his wing). Finally on Thursday he passed the swim test. I went down to the camp store, bought the biggest fishing bobber I could find, wrote "I can swim" and the date and gave it to him that evening along with congratulations.
Recognition may be an award, trophy of some sort, a small gift or a kind word. I don't try and find an item to fit the situation in as much as finding a reason to help someone do better tomorrow.
- Jan 2012
Fantastic ideas, Stosh. It's great to see that the boys cherish the memories as much as the award.
- Dec 2011
My den uses a cord that can be tied to a belt or made into a necklace then we add a plastic arrowhead, bear claw or bead to it.
I keep a piece of soft carving block, a pencil, paper, and an exact-o knife handy for whenever I think a youth might want one. (Oh, and a stamp-pad for testing!)