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kraut-60

Why does sports/band/etc seem to trump Scouting?

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This sense of moral superiority isn't likely to win over many boys to the program.

 

Of course not. If yeh want to win boys over to the program, dump the uniform and emphasize dangerous adventure!

 

I saw kraut-60's initial complaint as being exactly da reverse of what you're claiming, eh? Sports/band programs asserting their superiority over Scouting, and demanding higher levels of commitment which compromise a lad's ability to fully participate and contribute to an active troop. The thing kraut was complainin' about was essentially that people bought into this superiority of sports/band argument, which is at least unsubstantiated and some of us feel is total bunk.

 

That's the argument I'm hearin' from folks here, eh? It's perfectly OK for band to demand two hours a day, 5 days a week plus weekends at 100% commitment, but it's completely unreasonable for a troop to expect 50% attendance 1 night a week and stayin' for the whole event on a campout.

 

Participatin' in band instead of scouts can be a fine choice for a lad, even a great choice if his passion is music. I would never discourage it. Boys should follow their interests and bliss, eh? Just don't overstate the case with codswallop about teachin' leadership/character/grades etc. being the reason.

 

Beavah

 

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That's funny, that's not how I interpreted it at all...

 

(apologies in advance for editing, to get to salient points)

 

"Sports/band programs asserting their superiority over Scouting, and demanding higher levels of commitment...superiority of sports/band argument, which is at least unsubstantiated and some of us feel is total bunk."

 

Yes, they do demand higher (or maybe just "high") levels of commitment, attendance-wise and perhaps preparation-wise. But they aren't necessarily asserting a superiority over Scouting. I think you're reading that into what is being talked about, and it certainly isn't anything that I have said. And if you think that "unsubstantiated and total bunk" applies to the "superiority complex", that's fine, but that's not what has been going on here. But if you think the value of non-Scouting programs is unsubstantiated and total bunk, then I think once again you are being dismissive.

 

"It's perfectly OK for band to demand two hours a day, 5 days a week plus weekends at 100% commitment, but it's completely unreasonable for a troop to expect 50% attendance 1 night a week and stayin' for the whole event on a campout."

 

Once again, that isn't anything I've said or implied. However, the "attendance rate" issue is certainly a hot topic among Scouting circles. Some unit leaders believe that is absolutely the right thing to do, while others feel that is an artificial constraint that certainly isn't supported by the national organization.

 

"Just don't overstate the case with codswallop about teachin' leadership/character/grades etc. being the reason."

 

And once again, and I believe that might be me you are implying, that is nothing that I said or inferred. What I did say, repeatedly I think, is please don't be dismissive of the values that these other programs do provide. I've said that I think it was all part of my package.

 

If you don't respect my opinion that's fine, but please stop attacking it, especially by inferring things I haven't said.

 

As I suggested in another post, just think how you, Beav, would feel if a college recruiter dismissed being an Eagle Scout as fluff.

 

Or, how do you feel when you hear a youth not interested in Scouting because "that's gay."

 

Or what if a parent dismissed the entire "character development, citizenship and personal fitness" aims by saying "so what, it's just a bunch of camping...and merit badges seem so lame."

 

A few years back, I was rankled by a forum post (on an unrelated forum to this one) dismissing Scouting as being "para-military". Seems like a colossal mis-characterization to me.

 

Why do some non-scouting activities demand full participation? Because they feel they need to, and because they can. Could scout units do the same thing? Sure. Go ahead. See how that works out for you. I have absolutely no idea what I would have done if faced with that kind of dilemma when I was a scout. I also don't know what would happen to membership numbers now if that were the case.

 

Guy

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Scouting is gay? Well, they haven't read the rules.

I do hear "band is gay". Often, usually by the sports guys.

 

One must understand the 100% commitment to marching band that is required. Marching requires everyone attend, every practice and performance. If you ain't there, there's a hole in the formation and a sound missing. It effects the entire band, not just your section. Kids miss sometimes and it degrades the entire performance. That's why band directors demand commitment.

 

Compare that to football. You might be in a critical position like quarterback, but the team has a plan when you are injured or can't play. Band doesn't have backup positions.

 

 

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Wait a minute, I'm not saying it's gay! :) I'm saying what if that's what you heard...

 

During marching band season, we usually didn't have a problem with football players. We routinely put in several hours more a week than they did. Now, basketball season was a different story. Our "pep band" only practiced a couple of times a week. I suppose that's because we didn't have to worry about "drill", and we didn't have weekend parades and competitions.

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Band doesn't have backup positions.

 

Yah, and that's somehow teachin' planning, leadership, and teamwork? Without even considerin' conflicts, kids get sick, kids have deaths in the family, kids have flat tires on the way to the performance. Learn how to adjust da formation.

 

Sorry, I see it as a specious argument. In any activity or organization, a player and especially a leader will be missed if absent. Absence of a team member will always affect the entire group. For sure in Scouting!

 

GKlose, I sent yeh a personal message, eh? None of my comments have been directed at you, and no disrespect or "attack" is intended, eh? You're readin' stuff that just isn't there. I'm arguin' my disagreement with certain ideas related to the issue raised by the original poster. Da issue of the thread is that sports/band "trump" Scouting, eh? "Trumping" somethin' is always a value judgment on superiority of position or claim. It's not the same thing as choosin' between two equally valuable activities.

 

So where I'm sittin', claimin' superiority for sports/band is exactly the issue, and I do think it's bunk and the arguments are codswallop. ;)

 

If yeh disagree, I respect you and your disagreement. Just don't expect me to modify my real, honest feelings without more evidence. Or my charmin', old-fashioned vocabulary. ;)

 

Beavah

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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I don't know if it's yet been said, but when you wear the colors of your high school, you assume the responsibility of representing that school and its students and even your town. . . you're more than an individual and more than that particular club or sport.

 

In Scouts, you don't get public acknowledgement as being the embodiment of your particular school or community.

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Yeah, I remember marching band members missing games, and there being holes in the line. I was one of Pavlov's dogs, I'm mean Burn's band kids. No leadership there. The drill is drilled into your head so you don't forget.

 

But let's see,

Football - coach gives you the plays. The only time you get to make a decision is when the play gets screwed up, and you have to improvise.

Don't mess the play up, hold onto the ball, and run like heck.

Defense, you may have a little more opportunity to make some decisions and show some leadership.

 

Other sports have less opportunity to show real leadership, making real decisions that really effect how things are, except for some collegic sports.

 

Here is my problem with high school programs. When our troop does take the time in August or September to contact the coaches and directors , and get sports and band schedules, the schedules never hold true. The items on them go down as scheduled. Then they add things to the schedule, sometimes with only a two or three week leadtime, and expect everyone to bend over backwards for these added items, with the grade threat. Band is horrible when it comes to this.

 

I have two that I want to send to NYLT the second week of June. Sounds like it should be an Ok week, school just out and all. NOPE!!!

Unofficial football clinic. You want to be on the HS team, be there. Not there, no team. They expect 8th graders to attend. It's a clinic, not practic. That way they can draw in the younger ones without violating any rules, but still using the threat. ISN'T BLCKMAIL WONDERFUL.

 

Don't get me wrong. I had one that letter 4 years in swimming. But the coach knew the value of Scouting, and other activies. The coach had the Coach's Award for the kid's that never missed a practice, except for illness or family death. Those that were tied to other activies received their letter, just not the Coach's Award. If you didn't qualify for an invitational, you had practice. If there was another activity that weekend, Scouts, church, Debate Team, etc, you were excused with no threats, no sidelining at the next meet. My son never received the Coach's Award becuase of Scouting. He swam every meet except when ill. To bad other coaches can't comprehend this concept.

 

I think next school year, I'll ask the coaches (individually) and the band and choir directors out for a cup of coffee. I'll hand them the copy of their schedule that I receive, then one of the Troop schedule. I'll showing them that we coordinated our events around theirs, and that I expect our scouts to be at our events since there are no schedule conflict. I'll then give them one of our schedules, along with their boys that are in our troop. If events are added on to their schedule, I appreciate their understanding as to why a few members may be missing the added event, without the threat of loosing a letter grade, since we have planned our events out a year in advance around their events, and our scouts and or parents may have paid some serious money for some of these events, possibly with limited refunds for withdrawing.

 

 

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I hear you about the scheduling issues, but honestly, many troops are just as bad as what you are describing. Maybe not YOUR troop, but many. And as to the notion that we in scouting don't expect the kind of commitment that sports or band or other extra-curriculars do, well that can be true, but then try to look at it from an outsider's view. Imagine the harried band director, trying to prepare for an upcoming performance. He knows most of the troops in town have their meetings on Tuesdays and lots of scouts are in the band too so he schedules the concert for some other night. But oops, JLT, PLC, Den Chiefs, Den Chief Training, extra patrol meetings, camp outs, camporees, other district activities, OA, parades, community service, helping with Eagle projects, merit badge "university," meetings with merit badge counselors, popcorn show&sells, and who knows what else suddenly start popping up as reasons why this kid or that kid can't be present and before you know it, half the brass section is absent. Suddenly the band director is tearing out his hair and griping about the never-ending list of commitments that we scouters expect from the kids. We may know that not every kid is going to be involved in every one of the above, but from an outside perspective, I'm willing to bet that a lot of adults involved in other youth programs don't quite see it that way when they look at what scouting "requires" of its members.

 

As for how things are in my son's troop: we have boys from at least 6 different high schools and 6 more middle schools. When the new cross-overs join in Feb, we add to that 3-8 elementary schools, at least until the end of the school year when they move on to various middle schools. There is simply no way in the world we're ever going to be able to coordinate with every school function, or even the majority of them. In fact, we don't especially try to most of the time. We do attempt to schedule around school breaks for one of the middle schools, but that's only because we meet at that school and can't get in when it is closed.

 

You can't do much about the fact that the boys in the troop have many different options available to them, and generally, something is going to conflict with someone's schedule no matter what you do. You can either gripe about that, or you can work on making your program fun and relevant, and understanding how scouting fits into the lives of each kid in your troop at any given time.

 

 

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but then try to look at it from an outsider's view. Imagine the harried band director, trying to prepare for an upcoming performance.

 

Yah, that "harried" band director is a professional doin' his paid job, eh? There are times when I'm "harried" in my profession. It's part of the gig.

 

Scouters are volunteers, giving their time for free. And yah, often "harried." :)

 

Are they somehow to be treated with less respect and value because they aren't bein' paid?

 

Talked briefly to another band lad last night when I stopped by one of da troops I help as they were packin' for a weekend in the snow (yah, da silly commish keepin' an eye on a fairly new troop for safety issues and too few drivers, but they had it well wired). This lad is part of a school jazz band, very interested in music. "Required" to participate in various gigs, but the gigs seem to be scheduled about 1-3 weeks out all the time. Said he, "Yeah, I go to the scout stuff because it's my duty as a patrol leader, and I get way more out of it. The jazz band teacher will just have to deal. Maybe he should come to a JLT and learn how to plan better like I did." And yah, Jazz Band class is for a grade.

 

Beavah

 

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I have found that even with the cub scouts you have the conflict of extra-carricular activities taking presedence over scouting. I just continue on woth the scheduled program and what the boys miss they just miss. I do not understand why people sign the children up for multiple programs on the same night and waste money. I contact the parents to let them know wht their son is missing, and if they care to they can have him make it up on their time. I do not have time to repeat programs for every boy that misses meetings. We leaders can not afford to get discouraged or we will faint out. We are already short of dedicated leaders. Some years I have taken only one or two boys to summer camp. They appreciated and enjoyed it. That is all I can ask for.

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GRADES!!!!!!!!

 

I'm on my HS academic decathlon team, The advanced band, marching band, jazz band and scouts. I have to juggle all of that, and let's face it, it's not easy. Marching band and Academic decathlon take priority over scouts because it's a grade. Grades vs. camp out or Meeting, which do you think the scout who cares about the fact his grade goes down a WHOLE letter grade is going to pick, or even more the parent who wants their child to be the most successful possible.

 

The difference from failing, or getting a D or C in those two things can be the difference of getting into the college of your dreams, or getting back into the program next time, you know that scholarship you need so you can go to a college besides the community one because you're not super rich? Well, you decided to spend time learning to tie a knot instead of making sure you had that 4.0 GPA and now, you're not going to get that scholarship oh well. You need to look at it for the long run which is more beneficial to the scout. By the time their in HS hopefully the majority of the lessons in life they'll learn in scouts will already be their, and they wont need it as much as they need the financial aid, or the grades.

 

-Michael (High school sophomore, in the top 10 students in school, band geek, and scout.)

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With all respect for many posters, I believe that many of us have forgotten what it was like in high school.

 

Sports - Extremely high status. Pep rallies with everyone cheering for you. Being treated as a God around school, particularly if you were a star player. (At least this was how things looked to me as a non-athlete.) At the same time, having it made very clear that you were expected to be at all practices, etc. If you missed one or more, even if you were the star, you sat or were thrown off the team. Lots of newspaper press, news coverage, etc.

 

Band - Some status. Respected by some faculty and some students.

 

Scouts - Negative status. Regarded as wimpy or sissy or as the thing that the low status kids did (the nerds, etc.)

 

 

If there is a combination of

 

- sports and/or other school activities confer higher status on the boy

- sports and/or other school activities are more fun or more rewarding

- parents give more supprot for sports and/or other school activities

 

It's not hard to see which the boy will do. Unless it's a boy who doesn't care about status, doesn't care about fun and blows off his parents.

 

I believe that the original post was one of frustration that his SPL and ASPL sometimes either are unable to be Scout leaders or choose not to participate in the Scout activities. The SM can certainly require that the SPL and ASPL attend all Scout activities. Forcing a choice like that very strongly risks your SPL and ASPL leaving their jobs. But the risk then is that the boys you will get as leaders are the ones who don't have the other activities. They likely are much weaker leaders. It's a tough problem.

 

I have also found and noted that if boys like this are the leaders in the Troop, even part time, it increases substantially the stature and credibility of the Troop in the community. You don't want to lose that.

 

The other thing I would be inclined to do in that situation is to talk quite frankly with the SPL and the ASPL. Explain that you do not want them to leave their positions but that the Troop does need youth leadership. Ask how together you can make sure that that leadership is provided. That will likely mean that they will need to work on training some of the younger leaders and, when they are not there, making sure that the acting SPL and/or acting ASPL are designated and well prepared. It may mean that you need two or more ASPLs.

 

Ideally, it isn't your problem and isn't just their problem. Rather, it's a problem for you all to solve and for them to learn how to face and how to solve.

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With all respect for many posters, I believe that many of us have forgotten what it was like in high school.

 

Sports - Extremely high status. Pep rallies with everyone cheering for you. Being treated as a God around school, particularly if you were a star player. (At least this was how things looked to me as a non-athlete.) At the same time, having it made very clear that you were expected to be at all practices, etc. If you missed one or more, even if you were the star, you sat or were thrown off the team. Lots of newspaper press, news coverage, etc.

 

Band - Some status. Respected by some faculty and some students.

 

Scouts - Negative status. Regarded as wimpy or sissy or as the thing that the low status kids did (the nerds, etc.)

 

 

If there is a combination of

 

- sports and/or other school activities confer higher status on the boy

- sports and/or other school activities are more fun or more rewarding

- parents give more supprot for sports and/or other school activities

 

It's not hard to see which the boy will do. Unless it's a boy who doesn't care about status, doesn't care about fun and blows off his parents.

 

I believe that the original post was one of frustration that his SPL and ASPL sometimes either are unable to be Scout leaders or choose not to participate in the Scout activities. The SM can certainly require that the SPL and ASPL attend all Scout activities. Forcing a choice like that very strongly risks your SPL and ASPL leaving their jobs. But the risk then is that the boys you will get as leaders are the ones who don't have the other activities. They likely are much weaker leaders. It's a tough problem.

 

I have also found and noted that if boys like this are the leaders in the Troop, even part time, it increases substantially the stature and credibility of the Troop in the community. You don't want to lose that.

 

The other thing I would be inclined to do in that situation is to talk quite frankly with the SPL and the ASPL. Explain that you do not want them to leave their positions but that the Troop does need youth leadership. Ask how together you can make sure that that leadership is provided. That will likely mean that they will need to work on training some of the younger leaders and, when they are not there, making sure that the acting SPL and/or acting ASPL are designated and well prepared. It may mean that you need two or more ASPLs.

 

Ideally, it isn't your problem and isn't just their problem. Rather, it's a problem for you all to solve and for them to learn how to face and how to solve.

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WOW!....I never would have thought my question that launched this thread would incite such a passionate polarization that seems to separate us so severly.

 

Heres my stab at a Boy Scout solution that may have a chance to have us all be Win/Win if it would be sucessfully implemented and supported by Coaches, Band directors and Scouters.

 

Athletes/sports team members: Have a patrol where all scouts who participate in sports are members. Contact coaches and let them choose to form their teams as Varsity Scout troops with your support for the Scouting part, while the coaches cover the sport part.

 

Band/orchestra/jazz/chorus/jazz & marching band members: Allow all band member Scouts to wear "Musician" emblem with Scout uniform (positioned below patrol emblem on right sleeve of uniform). Help all performing arts students to pursue and achieve any and all related Merit Badge(s) that correspond with their given areas of interest and participation. Form a Scout band within your community/district and encourage participation in addition to existing musical commitments with support of area band directors.

 

I know some parts of my suggestion would bring about more involvement and work, but would be worth the effort and seemingly take Scouts and other worthwhile programs of extra-curricular activities down paralel paths towards mutual solutions to permitting our youth maximum benefit from all areas they seek participation within.

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I tried to look back as a teenager in high school. I was on the track team and in scouts as the SPL. I asked about attendance at an upcoming meet. He asked me what was more important to me - the track team or scouts and that I had to make a choice. I walked away and lead my troop on the camp out. Later, he wanted to talk to me why I walked away from my team mates. My reply was that the troop was my team LONG before my track mates. I was the SPL over 35 scouts in 3 patrols. Him giving me an altamatum was a bad idea on his part. I was being responsible to fulfill my leadership position in the troop. I was elected and had to stay true to the scouts that elected me. They depended on me and my ASPL to be there when they needed us most. The track mates - they knew I was sold out on scouting and they respected my decision.

 

The jocks as school looked down on band as well as scouts. Most jocks were too concerned for themselves and not for their team. I learned more about team spirit and working together in scouts than I ever did in sports.

 

I feel as though I made the right choice. That is what the boys have to decide. It is all about choices. That is a lesson to be learned in life - we all have to make decisions and live with the outcomes. Other people are affected by our decisions as well. I chose not to let down 36 other people in my life.

 

We had a few scouts in my troop that dropped out of the troop to be bench warmers for the football team. They have regretted the decision all their life. They exchanged a sure Eagle Scout rank for a football team position based on high school politics.

 

We also had a SPL that did sports and fulfilled his SPL position. I had to feed him supper before the troop meeting for the length of the swim season, but it was a good investment. He is a Capt. in the Air Force right now.

 

Choices, choices, choices. RD

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