Scouter’s Minute

Reflecting on another Pinewood Derby season I find myself thinking Do we place too much emphasis on winning? The topic is up for debate and I did notice that the cheering was getting a bit too vigorous at time, although I believe it was all positive. I don’t think I heard any cheers for someone to lose, or do poorly (but please let me know if it was happening!) We have discussed many times in the past as to whether or not we should continue the Grand Champion format that we use.

In thinking about this, I found this very relevant story about preparing our youth for life as an adult – Research shows college students lack life skills; Scouting can help with that. Although the article focuses on Scouts BSA and older scout programs, I think the theme carries through. Our children will experience a great deal of adversity in their life. Sometimes they will prevail. Other times they might not come out on top. Scouting is designed to be a program where failure IS an option in a safe and nurturing environment.

As kids move past the Cub Scout program, the benefits of Scouting become clear to me — A Scout is more prepared for the world than most others of their age. In Cub Scouts, the focus is on having fun, and preparing these Cubs to become Scouts.

I realize my opinion may be polarizing, which is why I welcome any input from families. I did see some tears on Saturday and that was difficult to handle. I know it is hard for our kids when they don’t win and I am genuinely interested to hear if you think it was “too much”. Please reach out to me with your thoughts!

Yours in Scouting,

Matt Koch