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"Victory" in scouting

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Great leader always want Victory. Be it life or death (FDR and Churchill wanting victory over Hitler.) Or something less (both Yankees and Marlins want victory in the world serries.)


So my questions are: Is there such a thing as victory for a scout troop. What is it? And who decides when a troop reaches it?

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Victory seems an odd word to use in Scouting.

But that might just be me?

I think a "Victory" would consist of someone or some group reaching a goal.

If that is the case there would be big victories and some that might be viewed as not so big.

The Scoutmaster might have a goal to see a percentage of the Scouts attend summer camp. He might put a lot of time and effort into promoting summer camp and in the end reach this goal.

I was talking with a friend of mine who has been in Scouting for many many years, he had been working with a special needs lad and the lad had finally got it!! He was so happy and I would bet that the lad was even more so.

You might call this a double victory.

When I was a young leader I allowed my ego to "Lead my troop to victory"

We had to win everything or to be honest I and I alone pushed the boys in the troop to win.

One example of this was our district camp craft competition. I made up our "patrol" of all patrol leaders and our better campers.

Yes we won.

However the real victory was when we entered "Real" patrols and still won.

We had a Scoutmaster in our district that was in his 80's.


Pete was a small fellow. Never married and was the Scoutmaster of troop 133 Mt Pleasant Pa. for Lord knows how long.

Over the years Pete had received most of the awards that a district and council can bestow on a leader. I thought it would be nice if we could get a James E.West in his name. I sent out a letter to all of his Eagle Scouts.

We only needed $1,000.00. We got almost $6,000.00. However more then the money you ought to have seen the letters that these guys wrote. I presented him with the award and read the letters. There wasn't a dry eye in the house.

About a year later Scouting Magazine was doing an acticle about innercity Scouting, they interviewed a Scoutmaster from Ohio, who was doing a really fine job.

This Scoutmaster said it was all due to what he had learned from his Scoutmaster Pete Rice in Troop 133 Mount Pleasant.

Sad to say Pete is no longer with us.

Maybe our Victoty is the legacy that we leave.


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Hello asm206,


I don't know if you have ever looked at or studied game theory. The most common "games" -- the ones which we commonly hear about in pro sports, etc. -- are zero sum games. That means when one party wins, the other party loses.


But not all games are zero sum games. There are other types of game. There are games where everybody can "win". Marathons are games where everybody can be a "winner." And there are games where almost everybody can lose. In pro golf, for example, in a tournament, there is one "winner" and almost everybody else is a "loser."


And this is one of my major problems with the way that many current leaders view Scouting. They want to make it a zero sum game. In Boy Scouting, the elements commonly are Eagle or Not Eagle -- winner or loser.


And the essence of Scouting is that it is not a zero sum game when done right. Every body can have their citizenship, character and fitness improved. Everybody can advance, can lead, can camp.


So to me, Victory in Scouting occurs when the aims are met, the methods are all used. If the test of a good Scoutmaster is the easy chair, then Victory occurs when the SM can sit in the easy chair and watch superb Scouting occur.


Victory -- and everybody wins.

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Victory? Victory is static, once achieved it's gone, only a memory... sometimes material for history books.

Development of character, that's something that doesn't start at age 11 and certainly doesn't stop when drinking and voting becomes legal for you.

The core of scouting is that, development of character, it's not program , not even method but development of character.

So, there is no posible Victory to accomplish, winning in a competition is of course a victory, but not The Victory just an accomplisment, just a candle compared with the sun to wich we aspire.


That said, of course there are a lot of victories, every girl or boy who becomes a bit more trustworthy, loyal, generous, courteous and happy, lover of nature, obedient, optimist, servant of mankinf, values work and prepares him or herself for true love is a victory for a troop, for his scout leaders, and of course for the rest of the scouts, in his troop and worldwide, a victory that is more valuable the more challenging the task



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We recently returned from a statewide jamboree. At the jamboree there were a number of rock climbing walls available for the scouts to try. They were very popular and lines were long. Because of the lines scouts were usually given one shot at the wall. If they fell (They were tethered to a line that lowered them slowly) they had to give the next scout a try.


One of our new scouts (11 yr old.) waited patiently in line. When he was given his turn he was directed by one of the guides to the more difficult section of the wall. He tried, but got maybe a half a step up and then fell. I cringed when I saw the dissappointment in his face. He started to undue his harness and give it up when the guide, who saw what had happened, moved him over to the easier side of the wall. The kid scampered up 30 feet of the wall, hit the button on the top indicating he made it that far and floated back to the ground on the tethered line with a smile a mile wide. He couldn't have been happier than if he'd scored a winning touchdown or hit a game winning home run.



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Victory in scouting is:


Seeing a First Class Patrol Leader, who was all thumbs as a Tenderfoot, teach knots and tell his pupils, its ok if you don't get it right away, I didn't either. And when they are done, the pupils know their knots.


Seeing the glow in a scouts eyes while he pins his mother with his latest rank


Seeing a shy, retiring scout, one who was almost afraid of his own shadow develop into a charismatic SPL who gains the respect of the troop


Seeing a young man receive his Eagle, when you were sure he could barely find his way home from school.


Seeing the faces of returnees from Philmont or the boundary waters, asking them how it was and getting a unanamous "GREAT"


Seeing a 25 year old man set up in a business that he was first exposed to by the merit badge program.


Seeing the look on the Crew Member who has just rapelled down 200 feet, and she smiled all week.


Making a difference in a young person's life.


Listening to a confused scout, angry because his parents are divorcing, and letting him know it isn't his fault and being glad he trusted you enough to talk about this.


Seeing a Troop acheive true. pure boy lead status. Actually while this is a Victory, failure to be such isnt a loss, it just means the games not over yet




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No need to apologize. Heck, you probably are a hero to some. Think about it. I might have said about the same things, but it would have taken me four more paragraphs, and it wouldn't have been nearly as poetic.


BTW, I read the small dialog between you and Outdoor Thinker in the other thread. You are right to count that, and her, as a victory. Sounds like you have plenty of reason to be proud if her and your son. You've got reason to be proud of yourself, too. But I suspect that isn't why you're here, is it?



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Heck Mark, I was just pulling your leg with the apology thing.


Growing up being a Boy Scout was the best fun I ever had. As a youth I went to the Grand Canyon and Glacier National Park with the troop, and we lived in suburban Chicago. Being in the woods is where I feel the best and scouts gave me the perfect way to enjoy nature.


As an adult, I wanted my son to have as much fun in scouting as I had, and then when I really got into it, I wanted as many youth as possible to have as much fun as I did. Well, YoungSpikedEagle does love the outdoors.


When I was a scout, I had a role model scouter, the troop cheermaster, long since passed on, he knew more songs than I could count. I learned all his songs and at times he would refer to me for the words because he sometimes forgot them. Even now, when I lead a rousing chorus of Green Grow the Rushes Ho, or Johny Verbeck or The Boy Scout Sunday School Song, I can hear him singing with me. And I think, thank you Mel Brockman, thank you for giving me these songs and these experiences. I hope in the future, when I am no longer of this earth that songs are sung around campfires because they were learned from Mr Brockman through me, that would be ultimate victory.(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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