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Chippewa29

Physical Fitness Requirements

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I've got a dilemma right now in regards to the physical fitness requirements for Tenderfoot. I've got a Scout in my troop that has completed all his requirements for Tenderfoot except for showing improvement in the Physical Fitness Tests after a 30 day period. Last week, I tested the Scout for improvement (about four months after his orginal tests) and he improved on every area but one. Like the first test, he couldn't do a single pull up. This kid is not physically handicapped, but he is not an athlete by any stretch of the imagination. I know that he actually did work out some in preparation for this (not every day, but more than most kids) and his determination during the tests was excellent.

 

The big question is this. Do I hold him back from his Tenderfoot because he can't do a pull up? I think once this kids grows some and gains some body maturity (next 1-2 years), he will be able to do it. At this point, I think it would take him a couple of months of diligently working out (something most kids would do) to do a single pull up. He is about three requirements away from Second Class as well and had completed about half the requirements for his First Class.

 

I know that the tough tests help develop character and I think it would be great for him to do it, but I'm wondering if I could be discouraging him by not letting him move on. His dad has said that he is ok with me holding him back as long as I hold the same standard to every kid.

 

Which brings up my second point. We had another Scout pass his BOR for Tenderfoot tonight. When I passed him on his physical fitness requirements a few weeks back, he improved on everything but his pull ups. He did one each time and somehow I let it pass without noticing it. His physical tests were also inferior to the first Scout on everything but the pull ups. I don't think this Scout worked on his fitness much during his 30 days (at least not as much as the first scout did).

 

I unfortunately held two Scouts to two different standards. How do I handle this? Also, what if I have another kid in the future that just can't do a pull up? The Scout in question is a great kid that definitely deserves his Tenderfoot and passed almost all of his requirements with flying colors instead of just getting by. Any suggestions?

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Do I hold him back from his Tenderfoot because he can't do a pull up? No. The requirement is to show improvement, surely he objectively did better than his first attempt. Did you measure the distance his chin was from the bar between now and 30 days ago?

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As the former - ahem - circumferentially and vertically challenged kid in my troop when I was young, the LAST thing you want to do is discourage this Scout from continued physical activity. If the requirement simply says "shows improvement" and it is shown, move ahead. If your outdoor program is strong, he'll continue to show more improvement OVERALL physically by remaining strong in the program, rather than becoming a couch or computer potato.....

 

That last note is kinda ironic on a BB, don't you think??? ;-)

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I understand about the requirement appearing very clear and not flexible, but yes, pass him. He's not only showing improvement overall, but he's showing you his best effort, and that means he wants it. He's also growing in character, and that's great. If you hold each Scout to their best, you're not holding them to different standards. Every Scout is different.

 

sst3rd

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Pass Him> he did his best, he showed overall improvement. Whether he did as good as another scout is irrelevant, as long as he did his personal best.

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Thanks for the quick response. I've been whether it would be better for him to have to make himself do it or if he would just get discouraged and give up. I'm going to talk to his dad (a very high quality guy that understands about building character) and see what he thinks. I think that if this kid can work at it for a couple more weeks and do it(plausible, but not likely), then I'd make him wait. But if it would take him months to get strong enough to do a single pull up, thus holding up his advancement, I think it would be better for him to get his Tenderfoot now.

 

Another note on this subject. The Scout we passed did his 1/4 mile run/walk in 8:00 the first time, 7:55 the second, basically walking the whole thing. Although I know this Scout didn't intentionally "dog it" (his attitude is very good pretty much all the time), I know that he could have pushed himself a lot more during the test. He wasn't even breathing hard when he got done. Obviously, he didn't do his best, but he did improve.

 

These are the gray areas that drive me nuts. Since I only see the kids once a week (usually), there is only so much I can do. Also, I am someone that works out 5-6 days a week and very much takes the part "to keep myself physically strong" seriously. When I see kids out of shape when because they spend too much time on the TV/computer instead of playing outside, it makes me want to cry.

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It says "show improvement" not "improve in every area."

 

I could even live with it if say the running score was a few seconds slower, but he could do forty situps instead of twenty at the start.

 

The tested items should be taken as a group, not as distinct elements.

 

Brad

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