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Scout interest fading...causing conflict.

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Sorry to hear about the competitiveness of your troop as that is not how it's suppose to be. Advancement is suppose to come naturally by DOING scouting and being in the outdoors. Yep the MBs can be tedious, esp the paper pushing ones. But they are suppose to teach life skills, i.e. First Aid, Swimming, cooking, and provide an outlet for areas of interest, i.e. atomic energy, plumbing, etc.


Your story and others really makes me appreciate my SM's approach. It was a hand's off approach, unless a gentle reminder was needed to get ya back on track, esp. after spending almost 5 years as a Life Scout. ;)

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Eagle92, we seem to agree on the big picture but not the details :)


Eagle92 writes:


As I mentioned, working on Cit Nat and World were done in conjunction with the HA trip. Lots of hiking around DC, did three trails we discovered at the post trip meeting, and canoeing and portaging in the Canadian Wilderness.


Baden-Powell's program gives badges for the High Adventure trips themselves, not the school work.


(However, having adults tag along on an Expedition would have negated counting it for what we call advancement).


Eagle92 writes:


There are ways to incorporate some of the PW Mbs into scouting. With PM, you can use a patrol's budget for a weekend as a foundation for other budgets.


Working Personal Management into Scouting is like incorporating the branding of "666" on athletes' foreheads into Little League. All things considered, I think some boys would prefer the searing of their flesh to paperwork. :)


The difference is that Little League does not have a monopoly on baseball, so if "experts" imposed adult stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with baseball onto Little League, the boys would simply go elsewhere.


The YMCA was very clever in securing a monopoly on Scouting so that boys would be forced to do YMCA "boy work" instead of Baden-Powell's program. There is no free market for Boy Scouts, they can not go elsewhere so either they stop working on advancement, drop out, or realize that they love Big Brother ("Hey maybe that paperwork Eagle will look good on my resume").


Eagle92 writes:


You are so correct in the PM is a model of our democratic republic, i.e. patrols elect PLs who represent the members on the PLC.


No, electing Patrol Leaders is not what Baden-Powell meant by "citizenship."


The whole idea in both his Patrol System (and Hillcourt's Patrol Method) was to find the Patrol's best leader and stick with him. For instance as you would stick with the best lifeguard and NOT hold regular elections so that everybody at the waterfront gets a chance to learn about "democracy" (and the subsequent "controlled failure," which makes a virtue out the natural destructive consequences of POR requirements).


By "citizenship" Baden Powell meant the interaction of a Patrol of sweaty Scouts pulling together under stress on a Journey without adult supervision, as men would do.


Yours at 300 feet,



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No problems, you may be surprised at how much of the details we do agree on.


In ref to the adults on the trip, I know the parents were glad they were their for "supervision." ( differnt topic I know) Although I can tell you this: none of the adults interfered, even when we had to land early one day to deal with the weather and two hypothermia cases. The ASPL made the decision (we divided the 4 patrols into two groups with SPL and ASPL leading) to land early, my PL recognized that I had hypothermia,and the patrols took care of hypothermia cases. Adults didn't interfere. They did their jobs: trained us during the prep trips and let us at it.


Now I do admit I like elections every 6 months for PLs and SPLs.And it's not to allow everyone a chance at advancement. I believe that once you are elected, you have every right to keep running until you no longer want the job. I don't believe in being PL for X months and giving it up. Heck it takes 6 months just for the PL to get the training and expereince to run the patrol. Rather having the elections reminds the PL or SPL that his primary responsibility it to the patrol or troop respectively, and that if he isn't doing a good job,they will not reelect him.


On a more personal note, there is another reason why i like it. My troop was in a situation where we had two very capable scouts able to be SPL. Problem was that due to other commitments, both school related, half the year they could not fulfill the duties of SPL. By splitting it into two 6 month terms, one was elected SPL during a period when the other couldn't serve and vice versa. And yes others were running for the positions, so it was NOT (caps to show edit)a defacto election.


The problem I've heard is that doing elections sometimes turns into popularity contests. That shouldn't be the case: the scouts need to vote for the best person. Also I don't think you should limit terms of office. Again it waters down experience.


ON the other hand, i do think the PL needs to work with his patrol on scout skills and teaching skills, and work particularity with to get him to the point where he could be PL if need be. My troop's philosophy was that to truly master a scout skill, you need to be able to teach it.(This message has been edited by Eagle92)

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So, I a short conversation with my wife about stepson's Scouting.


She's noticed that he has indeed slowed down quite a bit. He did achieve 1st Class last year as an 11-12 year old (6th grader). I think Mom's realizing that further pushing my cause him to bail out...


His buddy, who joined the Troop at the same time, should Eagle sometime next year (as an 8th grader). She admits that it's not the Scout attaining Eagle, rather it's the parents.


The current lead Scout is a 9th Grader who also reached Eagle last year...no relation to the other.



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That sounds like encouraging news, Engineer61. Hopefully Mom will let your stepson choose his own merit badges, at least for now.


Making Eagle, if that's a boy's goal, is not a race against other Scouts. If it's a race at all, it's a race against yourself (i.e. the boy himself.) Even if the youth's current reasons for "going for it" are the superficial reasons such as college applications, job applications, etc., there is unlikely to be anything on an application that asks how old you were when you made Eagle, or whether you got any palms. When my son was applying to colleges, there was simply a box to check if he had made Eagle. They didn't want to know when, or whether he got any palms. I doubt that most admissions directors or personnel directors know what a palm is anyway, but they do know what an Eagle is, and what the Girl Scout Gold Award is. So as I said, even with the "wrong reasons", there is no rush, and as I said in a previous post, I wouldn't worry too much about a boy having the "wrong reasons" now. They are likely to turn into the "right reasons" before he's finished, and that's what counts.

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Like a successful football coach, you've got to know the individual to know what motivates them.


For my second son, I just agreed with him when he said he didn't want to work toward Eagle. He is highly competitive on some things, couldn't care less on other things (like school work unfortunately). I simply stated, "yeah, I know what you mean. You probably could earn it like your brother." Next thing I know, he had a project picked out and was moving toward completion.

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