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Scouting Is More Than a List of Requirements...


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#1 LeCastor

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 10:56 AM

All too often we get caught up in the habit of checking boxes on a list when it comes to Scouting. Advancing to the next rank is part of Scouting, yes, but it's not the whole package. Scouting is a way of life; it's the way we conduct ourselves each day, keeping fit, helping others, staying true to the Scout Law. Next time when you ask yourself if you "need" to do something for a requirement, take a step back and ask yourself if you can help someone else advance. You might be surprised what happens next...
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#2 scoutldr

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 12:09 PM

Sounds like a SM Minute to me. Your point is well taken, and I think is lost on today's generation of Scouts and parents, who view it as a resume bullet for college. The goal is not advancement. The goal is not to get all the merit badges. The goal is to develop character, and you can't do that with 12 year old Eagles. As a semi-retired Scouter, I still sit and smile when I read on Facebook what my "former" scouts are doing with their lives. Two brothers are serving in the Army and Air Force. One is a senior at the Naval Academy and his brother is in the Va Tech Corps of Cadets. One became a welding foreman at the shipyard and just announced his intent to join the Navy. Another is in NYC trying to break into a Broadway career. My own sons have made me proud and just let me know that Grandchild 3# is in the oven. #2 should be born tomorrow. It is a fortunate man indeed who can look back on his 60 years on the planet and know he can go to his grave (hopefully not too soon!) having made a positive difference in the lives he has touched. I do realize that it wasn't all because of me, but I was part of the "village"...a life well-lived. To my fellow Scouters...don't give up. You ARE making a difference and the rewards will be great.
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#3 Basementdweller

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 02:35 PM

Rare is the parent or boy who understands it is the journey not the initials in the book or the ECOR. A quality scout is not accomplished in 2 short years, but over many a campfire and shared meal or providing service to the community.
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#4 perdidochas

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 02:40 PM

All too often we get caught up in the habit of checking boxes on a list when it comes to Scouting. Advancing to the next rank is part of Scouting, yes, but it's not the whole package. Scouting is a way of life; it's the way we conduct ourselves each day, keeping fit, helping others, staying true to the Scout Law. Next time when you ask yourself if you "need" to do something for a requirement, take a step back and ask yourself if you can help someone else advance. You might be surprised what happens next...


Great quote. Can I steal it?
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#5 LeCastor

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 02:41 PM

By all means! Please do. :D
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#6 MattR

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 09:18 PM

Can I pin it to the forehead of the parent that's paying his son for each rank advancement? Talk about a SM nightmare.
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#7 Stosh

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 07:44 AM

Check boxes in the Handbook are for the boys who need their self-esteem built up. What they learn getting those boxes filled is what self-respect is all about. Self-esteem reinforces the idea that I have the knowledge of having sat through a class on how to tie the bow-line knot. Self-respect is what happens when one develops the personal confidence to realizes they know that knot and can maybe save someone's life or at least rescue them from a dangerous situation someday. I learned this lesson many years ago when I was taking Emergency Rescue Technician training. I am terrified of heights. (Rock climbing is never going to be an activity I plan for any group of people.) Yet I know that I can repel down a 5 story building because I have done it. In an emergency situation, in order to save someone's life, I can do it again. To me, this is what T-FC is all about. Does the boy have the confidence and self-respect to wear the FC badge? It used to be the highest rank in the BSA, now it's just a check-box requirement indicating one is only half done. Stosh
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#8 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 11:49 AM

Can I pin it to the forehead of the parent that's paying his son for each rank advancement? Talk about a SM nightmare.



If the cases I'm familiar with are the norm, it will backfire on the parents. In one case the Life Scout only needed to do his service project as he had everything else done, and would have enough time to earn several palms. Incentive was driver's license and car.
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#9 LeCastor

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 10:45 AM

I'm happy to know this SM minute struck a chord with so many of you! :D The reason I shared this is because I was seeing too much emphasis placed on the the I-need-Eagle-right-away attitude at the expense of the Scouting ideals. We have enough one-up-man-ship going on in society and, as Scouters, I feel we need to remind our Scouts to be kind. Plato said, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
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