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Disappointmentphobia?

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" ... I guess I try to much to be a people pleaser....I do not want any of the boys to be disappointed ..."

 

This theme is either explicit or an undercurrent of many recent threads (including an article in Scouting magazine on pinewood derby races).

 

What is preventing people from realizing that there's no real pleasure for a boy to receive a reward:

  • that his buddy got even though he didn't even care to work toward?
  • that represents some compensation for the subtle quirks of physics and track engineering that led his car to not win its first two heats?
  • that actually promotes values you no longer (or never really did) believe in?

Sure your fear of any single boy being disappointed might get every kid to that awards podium kicking and screaming. But in doing so, aren't you really disappointing every boy?

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What's the sense of winning if it's really not? My car never won a heat, but I got a participation trophy. My buddy's car won every heat and all he got was a participation trophy.

 

So what's the purpose of a racing derby anyway?

 

Everyone should be equal. Well, last time I checked people are like snowflakes, no two are the same, not even identical twins.

 

Lessons to the Losers: there's always tomorrow and if one works at it you got a chance to change. Keep yourself hungry for the win.

Lessons to the Winners: don't sit back and think you're the best because there's always someone out there hungry for the win.

 

It's kinda how life works.

 

Didn't get your promotion? Either cry in your soup or roll up your sleeves. Choice is yours.

 

Stosh

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I agree with you. For example the everyone gets a trophy syndrome. Last night the pack trainer said "we should get back to giving all the boys a ribbon for PWD" I gave her my "REALLY" face !

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Kids who have never been told "no" or were never allowed to fail are now showing up in the workplace. They are a real PITA. The same performance awards and promotions are expected by all, regardless of their actual performance.

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Controlling co-leaders who never of wanted the kids to be disappointed were one of the reasons I joined this forum. So, you all may be preaching to the choir. I'd like hear from folks with dissapointmentphobia. What drives it? If you used to have it, how did you get beyond it?

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Disappointments are a part of life and IMO we are hurting kids by protecting them from disappointments and taking the value out of working towards a goal.

 

I think most kids can handle disappointments a lot better than most adults give them credit for. Kids know what is fair and what is not. They understand all about following the rules. They know if they have "earned" an award or not. And they are so proud of themselves when they really accomplish something.

 

By giving awards to kids whether they have earned them or not you take that sense of accomplishment and pride away from both the kids that did the work and the ones that didn't. And for a lot of kids in scouting that sense of self worth is so very important. Let's face it, a lot of times we end up with the quiet, shy, awkward, different kids that just don't fit in other places. Earning awards gives them a way to build some self respect and gives them something to take pride in. Pride is not always a bad thing.

 

Nobody likes to lose. Nobody wants to be disappointed and nobody wants to fail at something. But having those experiences helps us learn from our mistakes and makes us want to do better next time. If everybody always wins what is the point of even trying?

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"Last night the pack trainer said "we should get back to giving all the boys a ribbon for PWD" I gave her my "REALLY" face !"

 

What is wrong with each boy getting his 2014 PWD ribbon? It is no different than the Boy Scouts who go to a camporee and get the patch. Hey I did that. Then you give the winners awards based on performance. . .

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I agree with pchadbo, an attendance ribbon is not the same as a trophy for winning. The patches I wear on my right pocket are not the same as the patches I have above my left pocket.

 

Stosh

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Somehow when I wasn't looking, "Nice try!" became "Good Job!"

 

I have had two participants (learners) in SM training argue that everyone should be allowed to join OA

 

I have had one participant argue that everyone should get Eagle.

 

I have had several participants argue that the position of Patrol Leader should rotate, at least every month but, better, every week.

 

In each case, the argument was made that being "fair" required the result urged. This was a natural segway for the old observation that "Life is not fair." Since we are supposedly preparing youth for life . . . . .

 

I suppose what they want would be "fair," for different values of fairness.

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Those participants didnt want fair, they wanted equal. Equal isnt always fair, and fair isnt always equal. Everyone receiving the same might be equal, but everyone receiving what they need is fair.

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Personally, I consider the desire to have sharp kinds of competition in Tiger Cubs and Cub Scouts to be mistaken and that it involves injecting adult values into what should be kids games.

 

Boys do want competition, and they want to be able to win and will accept losing. But they don't need sharp competition that aims to produce one winner and a bunch of losers.

 

When I do Cub Scout competitions, there is LOTS of competition, but it's low stakes competition where boys may win one minute, lose the next minute and be ready to try again the minute after that.

 

In a Pinewood Derby, that means that boys all make their cars at the same time, the day of the race. Families provide what tools they have for pack use and any boy can use any tool, and any boy can get help from any adult in making ntheir car.

 

After an hour or so building their cars, boys choose who they want to race against and put their own cars on the race track. After each heat, they boy who won that heat gets a sticker to put on their car or PWD Driver's License.

 

Then they find someone else to race with right away. We may run 2-3 heats per minute, so boys get to race their brains out until they get tired of it.

 

Last year boys had the chance to make their own PWD trophies, which also allowed them to use the trophy to display their car. The trophies the boy made were awarded to them after they won one race, and then they could put additional stickers on their trophy if they wished.

 

A year later, most boys can still tell you how many stickers they won. But no effort was made to recognize the boy with the most stickers.

 

In my view, that's age appropriate competition. Save the sharper kinds of competition for Boy Scouts, or perhaps Webelos.

 

But lets keep competition low key for younger Cub Scouts.

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Some scout aspire to achieve. Others are along just for the ride. How beneficial is it then to treat them as equals? This is where we come up with the Eagle and out attitude. Once one has gotten to the top of the heap, game's over. Sorry, when a soldier reaches the rank of general, it's not over, it's just starting. There's no such thing as one-size-fits-all in Scouting. Trying to make it so is like hammering in screws. It works, but it's not what was intended.

 

I was in Cub Scouts for 4 years and never received Lion or Webelos awards, but I had fun with my friends. I was in Boy Scouts for 4 years and never made it to FC, but I had fun with my friends. When the SM started hassling us about advancement, my friends and I all went into a different youth program, fun was over, time to move on.

 

Stosh

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Firstly, I think there is value in having "participation" recognitions (a patch or ribbon or certificate or something) that everyone gets just for showing up. By building a car and participating in the event, a Scout has truly "won" and should have something for him to remember the event and his participation. The purpose of the game of Scouting is not about creating cars that can cross the finish line first, it's about building character and having experiences. I have tons of meaningful patches in my collection from camporees and other events where my troop came in last place. We should commemorate events for all.

 

But I also agree that you need to recognize actual achievements. Otherwise the competition and the awards become meaningless. When you have a competition, you need to recognize those who actually do win (it's a race - someone finishes first and that's the goal of the "game"). The kids will see that - especially if the hard-working first place winner gets a trophy just as big and with as much celebration as the last place finisher.

 

So if you have a Pinewood Derby, everyone gets a patch, or a ribbon, or a special "drivers license" ID badge just for participating... but then the winners should get something else (a medal, a ribbon, a trophy, etc.) and recognition for their accomplishment. But keep it all in perspective - you don't want to create sore losers with resentment towards the winners, and you also don't want sore winners with heads so big and chests so puffed out that they can't fit out the door. It's just a Pinewood Derby, after all. A single "winner takes all" (especially with Cubs) doesn't work and isn't really fair. Having little awards (stickers, beads, etc.) for each individual race winner is much better than just giving out one big trophy for the car that wins some big pack-wide bracket of races. Have winners for each level or den and for the overall pack; have 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners; give awards for more than just the fastest car (such as for creative designs or Scout spirit). If you have 30 kids in your pack, you shouldn't be giving out just 1 or 2 trophies on Derby night (but giving out 30+ is also somewhat ridiculous). I'm not saying everyone needs to win something, but they should all have a reasonable chance to win. And the focus shouldn't be on winning and on the winners, it should be about having fun and on all the Scouts involved.

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<>

 

 

 

There is properly a BIG difference between Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.

 

I have no objection to stringent competition at the Boy Scout level, just as I have a lot of objections to stringent competition at the Tiger Cub and Cub Scout level.

 

Low stakes comptition gives every boy opportunities and incentives to learn how to be motivated by competition. That's best done by low stakes competition at the Tiger Cub and Cub Scout level, in my opinion and experience.

 

Carefully observe the kind of competition boys organize for themselves. At the Cub Scout level, that's very simple, with an emphasis on competing and then competing additional times to win or lose right away.

 

Better to have fifty opportunities to win or lose rather than one at that age!

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just give this speech after the race

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. "

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