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I caught only part of the story that aired on 60 minutes. From the bit that I did watch it seemed to be looking at the youth of today.

A group of teenagers described them selves as the "Now Generation". They explained this by saying that when they want something they want it now. Some learned professor or something said that young people entering the work force are very ill equipped, they are not capable of thinking long range and are not used to thinking for themselves.

Someone else had this theory that I had a hard time following. It had to do with how the birth control pill made parents look upon their children as being special because they really wanted the kids that they had. To qualify all this the program went on to say how we needed kids so badly as trophies that we went all over the world looking for kids to adopt!!

As I say I didn't catch the whole story. I will see if I can get a transcript or video tape.

One part that got to me was a young teenage girl said that every kid gets a trophy for participating. At the end of the year they line up all their trophies. They don't have to earn or accomplish anything to get a trophy, just participate.

A couple of years back I was reading over the changes that the UK Scouts were making to their program.They had stated that they wanted to move away from the idea of Scouts earning badges and move toward Scouts being recognized for participating in the program.

When I first read it I thought it was a good idea. Looking at it again I'm not so sure. I really dislike when people misuse Scouting and the methods of Scouting. Scouts who sit through a Merit Badge class or classes may well be participating in the class but have they earned the Merit Badge - Not in my book.

I don't have a problem with young little fellows being recognized for participating. Sure give each and every Tiger Cub a ribbon or whatever for participating in the Pinewood Derby.

Give every Scout who attends the camporee a patch that tells the world that he was there.

I still think that allowing a Scout to accomplish something is worth while.

While I suppose an argument can be made that a Scout who just turns up and participates is still experiencing personal growth. I am of the opinion that a Scout who sets goals and learns how to do things step by step and maybe falters along the way, but picks himself up and restarts will get a lot more out of Scouting.

Maybe the bottom line is Participation Verses Accomplishment. I go with accomplishment.

If we ever start handing out the rank of Eagle Scout to Lads who have just participated, I will hang up my Wood Badge beads.


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I wish I would have seen the 60 Minutes story you describe - sounds a little frightening. Actually, it sounds like some overgeneralizing of our 2004 lifestyles, but that's just a first guess. Sometimes, the media helps us over-analyze who we are and what we do . . .


I don't disagree at all with your thoughts about Achievemnent. Though, particularly for Cubs, I think participation is worthy of acknowledgement, IN ADDITION, to Achievement. It gets very grey for Cubs, because of the "As long as the Cub did his best . . ." approach to assessing success.


I appreciate the "activity participation segment" patches for the brag vest. But, for meeting Achievement standards, I prefer to have the Cub demonstrate success by actually "meeting" the standard set by the handbook. Of course, we support the boys well, and assure success even for those rare instances when boys struggle with a specific achievement.


Would you also like to see a more "Achievement demonstrated" attitude toward Adult Training?




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I watched the program with great interest as my sons are in that age group. I would not describe the young people on 60 Minutes last night as typical. They had clearly been indulged their whole lives. They even described their parents as their 'best friends.' These are the kids whose parents scheduled every free moment with the proper activities, soccer, dance, whatever the popular thing to do. These are the kids who always were given the latest toy, gadget, etc. They wear Ipods, their cell phones all have cameras, they wear the latest styles and drive nice cars. In short, these kids have never attended the School of Hard Knocks.


Of course participation is all that their parents required. To require them to excel and achieve would be devastating to their egos should they fail. Participation puts them comfortably in the 'herd'and requires no effort.


The kids interviewed are so far out of my own experience with young people. After the program my husband and I exchanged looks, you know, the kind with raised eyebrows. How had our own sons turned out so differently from the young people we had just seen on TV?


We moved to the country when they were small. We never allowed video games in the house. We strictly limited their TV time. We emphasized good work in school, 100% effort in their activities, and helping out at home.


Then we sent them outside to play.

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Thanks Mrs Red Feather,

You hit on a lot of the things that I missed.

I have never been one to use the term "Kids Of Today". As I read the paper and see all the bad stuff. I really want to guys who write this to go out and write about all the good stuff. We who serve as leaders or in any position in Scouting are very fortunate that we not only get to see the good things that kids of today are doing we get to be part of it and they allow us to share their good stuff.

I still hold fast to the idea that getting a Lad and putting him in a Scout Uniform does not in any way make him an Angel. Which is just as well as I never was much good at playing the harp.

While we as adults in Scouting try to set a good example to the youth in the program. We as parents have a much stronger or bigger obligation to pass on our values to our kids. I thank the good Lord that my son has two parents that like and love each other.When it comes down to what is right and what is wrong we both tend to be in total agreement. We both have a zero tolerance for certain behavior that we deem to be wrong. If I were to try and list what is acceptable and what isn't the list would go on and on. We know it when we see it or hear it!!

I do know that our son "Gets away" with a lot of things that I never did!! My Mum was a very quick tempered little Irish Lady, who didn't stand for any nonsense. Dad was a soft spoken man, who didn't get excited but when he did lay down the law it was the law. Maybe we allow our son to work out some things for himself rather then just laying down the law. I do know that he is fed up hearing me go on about: Stop, Think, Act, Reflect.

A lot of the tools that I got from Scouting and BSA training's have helped me a lot in trying to be a better parent.

John, I think when you look at the Ticket that participants of a Wood Badge course work, you will see that they are out to accomplish a set of goals that will help them meet their own mission in Scouting. The mission and vision that they have is very much guided by their own values. If they fail to meet these goals they don't get to wear the Wood Badge.


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I didn't see the 60 minutes piece (we don't get it here in the uk), but I would like to put in my two cents (pence, Eamonn) about rewarding participation versus achievement. I think there is room for both, and it depends on the context.


My daughter (age 10) participated in a 3 day cricket camp this summer. It was her first real cricket experience, and the purpose of the camp was to encourage kids to take up cricket. At this camp, they gave out awards for different things, and she was very disappointed at not getting anything. I think in this circumstance, where she had basically no cricket skills, but participated eagerly, there should have been some kind of little "award" for participation and trying your best. Remember, the purpose was to introduce kids to the sport.


A different situation would have been where the kids are all skilled or have some experience, and competed for prizes, or where they were required to demonstrate specific skills.



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Wow, I didn't know they had camps to teach you how to chirp like a cricket. ;-)


gsmom - I agree with your thoughts, and I believe it is fairly consistent with the BSA model. In Tigers, it's more about participating. In Cubs, it's "Do your best". Credit is given if the Cub tries to do the work to the best of his ability. That's a step above participation. Boy Scouts raises the bar to taking personal accountability for your advancement and doing the work to achieve it.


I believe the fear that many of us share, is whether scouting will migrate more of the "do your best" ideas into Boy Scouts. I've seen it creep in from time to time. For example, I've seen BORs that really didn't want to turn down a boy and hurt his feelings. I've heard of Merit Badge counselors that give credit for trying to do the work. These subtle changes concern me. And I hope we will all work to hold scouting to the standards of the founder.

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Last week in this forum we seemed to be in total agreement (Yes and pigs can fly!!) that failure wasn't a bad thing.

Little Tim goes to the pool tries but is unable to meet the swimming requirement for Second Class. We if we are doing what is right will not pass him because he has not met the requirements. Sure he was there, sure he gave it his best shot but no he didn't meet the requirements.

I do not have a problem recognizing participation. I do have a problem when participating becomes the goal.

No!! Change that.

Participation should be recognized all the time. I have a pin that recognizes how long I have been in Scouting I don't wear it very often as I'm afraid that it will get washed and harm the washing machine. I was proud to receive it even though for a number of years I wasn't that active. I do think that our very little fellows do need to be recognized for participating. But there comes a time when everyone has to take ownership of themselves and what they are doing.

OJ my son is very active in both the troop and the OA. The OA saw fit to honor him with Vigil honor. I thought that he had done enough to merit it. Not that what I thought came into it. He seems to be doing a good job as SPL in the troop. He has been a Life Scout for ever. He hasn't made time to do his Eagle project.

Great kid, good Scout. But he has to make his project his goal and go do it.


Many Thanks for the link KY-Eagle.

Echo used to be a brand name for something?(This message has been edited by Eamonn)

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Definitely Cricket Girl deserves some recognition!!! And definitely, the swimmer who doesn't make the requirement doesn't "earn" the achievement. That makes sense. The latter has (and should have) a standard that Scouts need to meet, but the former??? Why would anyone give an "Intro to Cricket" camp and not be GRATEFUL to every single child and family that participated??? (and probably paid to do so)??? What would be your point, other than to encourage participation???????



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Girls playing cricket!!

I nearly swallowed an entire crumpet whole!!

I am still a member of the Putney Cricket Club. Being more of a Rugby and Soccer player, I have always been more of a social member.

Many a Sunday we would eat lunch at one of the restaurants on the Lower Richmond Road and then nip into the club house for a couple of pints. Then take a pint outside to watch the game, making trips back to the club house as refills were needed.

One Sunday I fell asleep. It was one of the very rare occasions when it was a hot day. I got the worlds worst case of sunburn.

I think that I must have ate too much.


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I'd say the majority of this story is on-target with my observation. I'm 32, with a 6yo TC and a 4yo who's ready for school and scouts as well, heh.


I have not observed the consideration of achievement vs participation, but I'd assume rather that everyone is gearing for over-achievement and fixation on preparedness and goals. Observe the fear of jobs moving offshore and the realization that it takes nearly $100K/yr household income to have the home/2cars/family in top-250 cities.


One is no longer competing with the top 15% to get in schools and jobs. Now, more folks are taking initiative, so you may be competing with the top 50%. Add in the H1B folks. Subtract the oursourced jobs and remove manufacturing. Observe the layoffs and mergers. So, we have parents over-grooming and directing children. With some schools costing $100K-$150K for a 4yr degree, which is not good enough BTW, kids are getting nervous.


Are you going to let your child slide through HS w/o participating in clubs, jobs or sports? I think the trend is going to continue pushing downward, where the middle school kids already feel/see the pressure to prepare for college prep classes.

I think folks my age started to see the front end of this. Sure, I cruised though school up to 10th grade as an A-B student. I then to start to panic and kick in the effort. Luckily, I was a scout since age 11, so I had experience that provided confidence and maturity which contributed to a high-achievement mentality and capability. I graduated top-10 in a small class and went on to a top school in the NE. At an engineering shcool, I was then in a pool of high achievers, just as another fish. This is when I started to feel the pressure. Previously, it was easy to swim ahead, almost laughable. Not here though.


Now out of school for 10yrs, I have been on a gradual incline of learning/achieving, but nothing like the blastoff I had experiecned from age 17 to 22. I would still consider myself many years away from any transition, say, to management. I see 20yr engineers who perform the same roles at 8yr engineers. That's called reality. I do wonder how the trophy kids will relate to such a scenario.


When you see it for the first time, it sometimes triggers the quarter-life crisis. That was another interesting topic I saw a while ago. Marriage. Kids. Mortgage. SUV Payments. Career. PTA....wow, you're not a kid anymore...stop watching MTV.




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