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GirlScoutLeader

What is Scout Spirit?

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The BSA definition of Scout Spirit is very general. To what extent can individual troops "quantify" the definition with specific examples? What do you all think of this individual troop's definition? 41052_41055.gif

Scout spirit shows how the scout reflects the values of the scouting community. Specifically, the scout shows scout spirit if he follows the scout law and oath in his daily life.

 

We can measure this in a number of ways:

 

- Does the scout come to meetings, even if they are more work-related (e.g. service projects), and does he pay attention?

- Does the scout complain about necessary tasks, e.g. cleaning dishes?

- Does the scout show a willingness to try something new, e.g. a merit badge?

- Does the scout come prepared for activities, e.g. camping?

- Does the scout help others?

 

For the scout leaders (first-class, star, life) there are additional criteria:

- Is the scout willing to teach younger scouts even if this does not improve his rank?

- Does the scout watch out for the safety of others?

- Does he teach by demonstrating, watching and if need be correcting (or does he merely give commands)?

- Does he show respect for adult leaders?

- Does he help the troop run by organizing events?

- Does he volunteer in his community?

 

For Eagle scouts the criteria are even higher:

- Is he recognized as a leader in his community?

- Is he treated as an adult leader by the troop?

Thanks in advance for your feedback?

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Welcome to the forums. I think that spirit is not something that must be quantified. One either has it or not IMHO. How one identifies it might depend on the scout or the circumstances presented to the scout. In the past there has been extensive discussion about what 'active' means and many of the ways you suggest for 'spirit' overlap with ways that have been suggested to detect 'active'. And in those discussions there has been quite some effort to try to provide quantitative 'guidelines' for being active. As you might guess, there has been considerable disagreement on the issue. 'Spirit' is likely to be just as difficult.

My approach has been to 'know' the scout. The better you know the individual the better you will understand how they describe their idea about spirit.

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Like 2c said. Living by the scout oath and law. There's no single metric. Usually we challenge each other (yes boys challenge scouters) on one part or the other, so I guess that willingness to be challenged is a hallmark of that "spirit." For some it might need to be attendance, others attitude, others speech, others health habits or citizenship.

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It's difficult to quantify and fairly obvious when you see it. Character can be defined as what someone does in the dark (when nobody of consequence is looking). This makes it difficult to measure. So I agree with packsaddle, you have to get to know a scout. And part of that is listening carefully to what other scouts say about him. OA election results, at least in my troop, are very informative.

 

What I tell the scouts is spirit is knowing the right thing to do and then doing it.

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Scout spirit is always a judgement call and IMHO decided jointly with a scout during the scoutmaster conference.

 

For anymore detail, read the Guide To Advancement section 4.2.3.2 Demonstrate Scout Spirit. http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf

 

GTA has a very useful quote. "Evaluating Scout spirit will always be a judgment call, but through getting to know a young man and by asking probing questions, we can get a feel for it. We can say however, that we do not measure Scout spirit by counting meetings and outings attended. It is indicated, instead, by the way he lives his life."

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In some boys it is obvious (they are always helpful, cheerful, etc) but I want to know how they are applying it in everyday life (I am reverant because I pray and reflect everyday, I am clean because I am trying to stop swearing, I am brave when I jumped off the high dive)...

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GirlScoutLeader ... I should admit that I would almost NEVER delay a scout because of scout spirit. IMHO, scout spirit is there because we want to promote it and talk about it. Also, the requirement is our safe guard that we can use when we need some excuse that can't be explained elsewhere.

 

Leader ... "I can't sign off on your rank advancement right now. You were just suspended from school for trying to buy pot. That breaks the scout spirit reflected in the oath and law. I know you are dealing with this both at school and at home. So I'm not going to add onto it, but I just can't sign advancement right now. Let's talk again in 30 days and if things are going well then, I'll be glad to sign off on your advancement."

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The sign-off for Scout Spirit happens at the Scoutmaster Conference. I ask the boy to sign, since they know whether or not they are living by the Spirit of Oath and Law in everyday life. It usually triggers a pause while a boy thinks about the fact that they are signing their own book claiming to have lived by the Oath and Law. Makes for a great conversation, and a pause (plus a bit of poetry):

[h=2]The Guy in the Glass Poem (Man in the Mirror)[/h] When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf,

And the world makes you king for a day,

Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,

And see what that man has to say.

For it isn’t a man’s father, mother or wife,

Whose judgement upon him must pass,

The fellow whose verdict counts most in life,

Is the man staring back from the glass.

He’s the fellow to please, never mind all the rest,

For he’s with you clear to the end,

And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test,

If the man in the glass is your friend.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,

And get pats on the back as you pass,

But the final reward will be heartache and tears,

If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

= Dale Wimbrow, first published in The American Magazine in 1934.

 

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GirlScoutLeader ... I should admit that I would almost NEVER delay a scout because of scout spirit. IMHO, scout spirit is there because we want to promote it and talk about it. Also, the requirement is our safe guard that we can use when we need some excuse that can't be explained elsewhere.

 

Leader ... "I can't sign off on your rank advancement right now. You were just suspended from school for trying to buy pot. That breaks the scout spirit reflected in the oath and law. I know you are dealing with this both at school and at home. So I'm not going to add onto it, but I just can't sign advancement right now. Let's talk again in 30 days and if things are going well then, I'll be glad to sign off on your advancement."

 

 

I have had to tell a boy or two I could not, in good conscience, sign off on Scout Spirit, They usually shop around for an easier mark. I have had SM's who reserved that sign off to themselves for certain boys that needed work.

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Per the program updates page one of the changes is "Duty to God incorporated in requirement to show Scout Spirit." How will this impact your sign off. Is the SM now supposed to pass judgement on a Scouts faith?

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Per the program updates page one of the changes is "Duty to God incorporated in requirement to show Scout Spirit." How will this impact your sign off. Is the SM now supposed to pass judgement on a Scouts faith?

 

I don't see how it's even possible for SM to decide if a scout is preforming his "Duty to god". I'm not Christian but was raised that way so I could probably make an educated guess if a scout was trying to be a good Christian. Other than that I have no idea, what constitutes a good Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Wiccan, etc. So as far as I'm concerned it's just a question for the scout "Do you perform your duty to god as you understand it" anything other than an outright "no" gets a sign off.

 

I honestly have no idea how to do it otherwise.

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... So as far as I'm concerned it's just a question for the scout "Do you perform your duty to god as you understand it" anything other than an outright "no" gets a sign off.

 

I honestly have no idea how to do it otherwise.

 

I really wish folks would get over the "checklist" mentality.

 

I make things open-ended. "What is your duty to God?", "How much have you done that?", "Is there one thing that you are going to try to do more of?"

 

Keep in mind this is a seven year conversation that you're having. Your goal when you review the requirement is to learn something about the scout. Over the years, you may guide him to include his parents or religious leader in the discussion, but you'll be the first person to hear about it. By making the effort, you'll be in the privileged position of bringing those parties together.

 

Moreover, a scout may be fine about his duty to God, but if distant cousins are languishing in a war-torn country, he might have some issues about duty to country.

 

Scout Spirit isn't so much about going through some prescribed motions, but bringing a scout-like attitude to life's tough situations.

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qwazse ... You need to know the checklist mentality as the starting point. Just as with driving, you need to start with a checklist mentality. As you get comfortable with scouting, then you can go further. But the checklist is still the starting point and the guide to the right method. Plus the checklist mentality exists because of too many leaders that want the discretion so that they can do their own thing, take things a different direction and establish rank requirements not reflected by the BSA program.

 

The way the best SM coaches his SPL and scouts is with open ended questions. But you need deeper understanding so that when issues arise, you know your latitude of options.

 

Only correction ... It's not always a seven year discussion. Hopefully, it is at least a six rank discussion.

 

Peter

 

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hmm this is really a good question to be post , acctually am also want to know about scout spirit , thanks you raised that question,,

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