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I wonder if it's cruel to award a boy First Class in 8 months from joining, because HE went on ALL the campouts and did ALL the things the other boys COULD have done but chose not to.
Just posing the question.
Is this committee member a new volunteer for your troop? Are they a parent of a new scout? Sure sounds like it. This might present a chance to gently educate that new person on the ways that your troop operates differently from their former experience with a cub pack or other elementary-school aged setting.
Of those boys who attended, do any of your youngest scouts succeed and get the ice cream or is it only the older boys who had the skill to do it?
The way you describe it - all the kids are watching the slide show/some are also having ice cream - really wouldn't bother me, particularly if the deck isn't totally stacked against the younger guys. And that this is troop tradition seems awesome, something for other boys to look forward to in the future if they missed it this year. So sure, take the question to your PLC and then, supposing that your PLC is happy with the current arrangement, let it stand. Maybe quietly communicate with your CC to arrange that proverbial "friendly cup of coffee" with the upset committee member, but otherwise, move on.
I've done this with this unit as well. But the course I used wasn't nearly as physically challenging as described in the OP, I think that one sounds wonderful.
I too would have done the ice cream thing at the event, not later. To do it at a later time just kills the element of immediate recognition for the job well-done as well as allowing comments like that committee member made. But I'd just chalk it up and try a different approach next time. The course and event sound just great.
I don't think it was cruel but I don't think it was appropriate. I think a non-food item presented at the camping trip would be a better choice. I would prefer a non-food item because I'd rather see physical activity rewarded with something healthy, not junk food; and because I was taught and have taught my sons that it isn't polite to eat in front of other people without sharing. And I would prefer that the award be presented at the camping trip because I think rewards are best appreciated when earned, like others have said.
I would not have made a big deal at the meeting though, but perhaps brought it up later from the POV that the intent is fine but the custom might be tweaked a bit.
A key distinction should be made in my book. I feel it is inappropriate to do this during a troop meeting because at a troop meeting, the activity should involve everyone. That's why I didn't do Scoutmaster conferences during troop meetings.
Would I have done it during the outing? No. What I would have done is to have the SPL conduct the troop meeting as usual, and then, during the closing ceremony, announce to all that those who had found all the markers stick around for ice cream and to review photos of the outing.
That would not be cruel and would provide encouragement to those who did not attend the outing and to those who attended the outing and did not attend the troop meeting to change their evil ways.
The kids that didn't go knew they didn't earn the ice cream.
The insecurities, weaknesses, and timidity of certain adults (like the committee member) are routinely transfered to the kids. I view this as the biggest impediment to successful scouting.
(This message has been edited by desertrat77)
Seems like a lot of fuss over a an ice cream bar!
I know and have met a lot of first class twits but even the best of these couldn't classify this as being cruel.
So you can rest easy, the paddy wagon isn't on the way and your not going to be taken away in hand-cuffs.
I'm not sure how I'd go about this?
But that doesn't matter.
You have been doing it for a good while with no problem, the Scouts don't have a problem but a Committee Member does.
This Committee Member is of course entitled to his or her opinion and you being the open minded nice person that you are will of course take the time to see what it is that is being said, weigh the pros and cons look at the merits of his or her fine words then in as nice a way as you can remind her or him that you take care of program and as a Committee Member his or her role is in administration and to go away and annoy someone else.