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Compare Scouting vs Sports ?

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59 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

I see sports and scouts with similar pros and cons.  The big difference I see is that results in sports is much more visible.  Confidence.  Satisfaction of the parent watching their kid drive kick the ball, hit the ball, pass the ball, etc. 

Scouts is much more subtle.  I often think it's hard for parents to see the benefits.  But when I looked close at my kids after each camp out or event, I always saw a little more maturity or capability or pride.  

My cheap parent view is sports is about more immediate gratification.  Scouts takes a longer time to see.  Not all parents will wait that long.  

You nailed it. We all would be amazed if we knew how many parents volunteer as leaders thinking they would be moving when their son was 14 because he had his Eagle. When the leaders get in a hurry, they drive the program in a hurry. 

Also, the speed a typical scout grows is very dependent on the intensity of the activities. I have said many times here that I found that Laser tag and high adventure treks to be the most intense scouting activities for achieving growth.  Each activity requires the team to come together as a team quickly. Laser tag achieves that goal in a matter of minutes. A trek takes a little longer, but scouts generally come back changed.

Summer camp can do it too if the adults are willing to let the scouts run the troop. "Came how a different person" is a common comment among our new parents.

Barry 

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OK, I'll speak up for sports here. I don't like when we try and pit disciplines against each other. I think the benefits of scouts vs. sports depends in many ways on the parents and what they want for their kids. Almost all the things we criticize sports parents for I have seen in scout parents, it's just not as overt. Whether it's the win at all costs or make it to Eagle at all costs mentality, some parents are just programmed to push their kids that way. I will say that while sports parents can harass the referee, there is a limit to how far things can be contested. In scouts, however, if a parent doesn't like an advancement ruling they can keep contesting it all the way up to National and they will generally be supported. Both sports and scouts are good for leadership and team work but in different ways. Scouts will figure out how to light a damp fire and help warm up a pal; sports kids will know how to run a drill, hustle when asked, and keep a team mate hydrated. And the scout/athlete/band member will be able to do it all and entertain crowds while doing so.

 

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Apples and oranges. Anyone can advance in Scouting to the top award, not so in sports. There is nothing in Scouting that compares to that championship season after years of losing seasons, double practices, injuries, losing key players and coaches, bad calls,...Imagine if there was competition for Eagle slots at Council, say only 20 scouts "win" Eagle each year.  I know I'm dreaming since patrol competition is all but gone.   

Instant gratification sometimes takes years. 

My $0.02, 

 

 

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1 hour ago, NJCubScouter said:

I think that's the answer.  A lot of parents have stars in their eyes.  They look forward to their child getting a free ride on a sports scholarship, turning pro and supporting them in their old age.  The fact that the chances of this happening for any given youth are very, very small does not seem to deter many of them.

Good reading

https://www.nuvo.net/voices/guestvoices/your-kid-and-my-kid-are-not-playing-in-the/article_768c0500-0f5b-5b63-961d-b2be73b3d7f3.html

 

 

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Prepared. For Life. 

 

That’s what was going through my head this weekend. I don’t know how exactly that happens on the court or field. I do know how that happens on a backpacking trip. 

I am not trying to put down sports, but I am preparing a vision where scouting becomes an important part of my community and hopefully yours too.

Thank you for sharing the article @Jameson76 it definitely shows the downside to overdoing sports. It really feels like sports are oversold especially here in CT. 

 

Mike

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Scouts, Music, Sports are all pieces to the puzzle for how we develop youth. Sports can be great, teaching teamwork, promoting physical fitness, and many sports can lead to lifetime hobbies/activities. Music is similar where the reward for those who are talented or put in the practice can be very self gratifying. Being part of my high school marching band, and hitting some of those big moments in our shows was addicting. There was a feeling of being part of something big and special. (My high school marching band had about 180 students.) 

Scouting is the same, and unlike other activities, Scouting can be for every youth that wants to be in Scouts. Their participation in Scouting can generally fit into their other activities. I think the key different benefit to Scouting (done properly) vs Sports or Band is that the youth drive it. They are responsible for setting their troop/patrol goals, organizing and planning and executing. My Troop has done a number of weekend and week-long backpacking trips where the Scouts have planned the whole trip: Destination, meal plan, hiking route, driving route, emergency plan. The pride and accomplishment they achieved after completing those trips is unlike what they would experience in Music or Sports, where the director or coach calls the shots. 

To me Music/Sports vs Scouts should be an and instead of a either or. 

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10 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

To me Music/Sports vs Scouts should be an and instead of a either or. 

I would agree that it should be an and, but that's tough to accomplish when sports requires attendance at practices in order to play in games. It's an idea that I totally understand, it's very difficult to just jump in and work as a team without everyone being equally prepared. The same is true with marching band, if I don't know my part or exactly where I am supposed to be it messes up everyone else.  The very same idea holds true for scouts, lack of attendance at meetings prevents the proper preparation necessary for a successful outing.

Sports/band are able to mandate participation, scouting is not. The question is then, why? What gives sports the 'authority' to mandate attendance?

 

Mike

PS. I am trying to think out loud here, not be argumentative. I appreciate everyone's feedback.

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19 minutes ago, SubSM said:

Sports/band are able to mandate participation, scouting is not. The question is then, why? What gives sports the 'authority' to mandate attendance?

Mike

PS. I am trying to think out loud here, not be argumentative. I appreciate everyone's feedback.

Not What,  who. That would be us parents. 

 

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1 hour ago, SubSM said:

... Sports/band are able to mandate participation, scouting is not. The question is then, why? What gives sports the 'authority' to mandate attendance? ...

 

34 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

Not What,  who. That would be us parents. ...

And the scout/athlete/musician/scholar.

When I was in high school and made plans to attend National Jamboree, I realized that band camp was the same week. I explained this to my band director, and he curtly said that no camp no marching band. I shook his hand and said, "No problem, see you in the winter for stage band."

I wasn't the least bit upset. I wanted my school to have the best band around, and if my absence would compromise that, I had no problem being a fan and cheering my time on from the stands. I went to the guidance counselor that day and said I needed to adjust my fall schedule. Again, I made it clear that I wasn't bitter about things and I would use the time to do more lab work (extricating entire nervous systems from specimens was my thing) or shop (which would give me more skills to make mounts and displays of the former).

Next day, the band director talks to me and says, "We'll hold your spot in the line." And they did. (And out of respect, my Jambo troop marched in step as often as possible.) What helped: half of my patrol was in the band. So, they also understood the time crunch.

One advantage that I had that scouts do not have now: I could just meet with my buddies (patrol, band section, youth group) on my own time ... no adult necessary. So, in addition to my official patrol, I had my non-scout patrols and we'd do whatever suited us. Seriously, if we played tackle football with the drunks across the street from my uncle's bar, nobody would raise an eyebrow.

But, we dictated our schedule.

It also helped that our football fields didn't have lights. And natural turf needed time to "rest" after hard rains. That freed up lots of evenings and weekends.

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Posted (edited)

And the Scouts. 

In high school I did Marching Band and SPL at the same time. The Scoutmaster was accommodating and I made sure to delegate what I couldn't attend. I probably made 90% of the meetings and 50% of the outings during band. If the Scoutmaster had made me choose band or SPL, I would have chose band. That would have been a bitter pill to swallow, and I wouldn't have handled it as maturely as @qwazse. If I stuck with Scouts it would've been a bare minimum endeavor.  

It would have made huge changes to my the friends I have, my current volunteering in Scouts, and my career (which I realized I'd be good at thanks to my adult volunteering in Scouting.) 

If a Scout can't reasonably fulfill their POR during band or sports, I have no problem if they take off a few months for sports. Does it impact the patrol method? Yes. But I'd rather have 4 or 5 patrols, some of which are lukewarm or seasonal participants, vs 1 or 2 dedicated Super Scout patrols. 

Clarke Green at Scoutmastercg.com had a great idea on how to assign patrols to filter out the in season athletes and musicians who can't participate regularly. I'll see if I can find it later. 

Edited by Sentinel947

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BSA has partnered with a Marketing Firm (I forget their name) who has created a campaign on this very topic.

The major theme is "Scouts Start". Whereas in just about every sport there are the few starters, there is no "Bench" in the BSA; every Scout is a Starter. 

Also, where most "Try Out" for sports, in BSA you "Try In".

I thought it sounded a bit hockey at first, but it's actually very well done. 

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18 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

Absolutely.  And I have seen #3 happen, although I do not know whether there was any way of knowing about it in advance as there was in the article.  When I was in high school a football player suffered a ruptured spleen from a "hit" during a game and died a few weeks later.

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4 hours ago, SubSM said:

Sports/band are able to mandate participation, scouting is not. The question is then, why? What gives sports the 'authority' to mandate attendance?

 

3 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

Not What,  who. That would be us parents. 

 

 

In some areas it is the school. Back in the day, as well as in my locale today, Band is a class with a grade that affects GPA. Miss a performance, you lose part of your grade. And while it is not done in my locale that I now about, back in the day at my HS and friends' HSs, sports counted towards your PE grade. They would place folks on the various teams  in the same PE class. During the preseason and season, practice and games counted as the class. "PE period" was actually a study hall. Miss practice or a game, you lost part of your grade. Once the season was over with, you then went to a normal PE class.

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4 hours ago, SubSM said:

Sports/band are able to mandate participation, scouting is not. The question is then, why? What gives sports the 'authority' to mandate attendance?

In short, no-one.  The leaders of these activities understand that to field a team, they need participation.  So, they draw a line and say "no participation, no team."  Most of use Scouters are not willing to do the same.

So, in short, for the most part, we do it to ourselves.

 

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2 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

In high school I did Marching Band and SPL at the same time. The Scoutmaster was accommodating and I made sure to delegate what I couldn't attend. I probably made 90% of the meetings and 50% of the outings during band. If the Scoutmaster had made me choose band or SPL, I would have chose band. That would have been a bitter pill to swallow, and I wouldn't have handled it as maturely as @qwazse. If I stuck with Scouts it would've been a bare minimum endeavor.  

...

If a Scout can't reasonably fulfill their POR during band or sports, I have no problem if they take off a few months for sports.

This is why we have assistants.  If you've got a Scout who can be there enough to provide leadership to a function, then let him lead the function.  If he has to miss 50% of the events, then no big deal.  Take a more junior scout, make him/her Asst. of whatever POR that scout has. 

Benefits:

  • The Scout learns to balance the realistic demands of life.  
  • A younger scout gets to learn from a senior scout
  • Older scout learns delegation
  • The job probably gets done better

Negatives:

  • None?
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