Monday, December 8, 2008
Taking on "Personal Management": Can Scouting's "Big Bear" Help Adults, Too?
As a Scoutmaster, I've found it interesting that there are three badges that tend to gum up the works for boys that want to progress from Life Scout to Eagle Scout, and routinely, it tends to be at least one of these three badges that cause the greatest amount of perceived hardship for scouts. These badges are:
Having been a scout leader and a merit badge counselor for close to fifteen years now, I know why this is the case. Each one of these badges requires an up front commitment, a pretty significant one at that. In addition, each one requires that you commit to a lengthy follow-through, and then tracking that follow-through for three months. In almost all cases, it's this tracking for the long term that gets most boys down and frustrated. Still, for many boys, conquering these three badges makes a huge difference, not just in taking command of the Eagle Scout process, but in taking command of life in general.
As I was reviewing with my son the components of the Personal Management badge, I came to the stunning realization that many adults that I know do not have much knowledge of, nor do they actively understand, the concepts that are presented in this badge. As I was looking to see if there was some "Madd Money" topics I could talk about and discuss, I realized the whole merit badge pamphlet, while not ideal in every aspect to what *I* would personally teach or espouse (but pretty darn close overall), it's a terrific primer and fodder for conceivably many posts.
Thus in the course of the next few months, I will be going through each one of these topics, not as a way to rewrite, revise or critique the book, but to give my own take on the topics as presented, and perhaps ways where I might differ in approach. Most likely, though, I'll probably share my own experiences working with this badge and what opportunities for growth can be found within its pages. Moree to the point, I'm hoping to spur on some discussions with my son, as he needs to complete this one, too, hopefully in the same time period (as well as Personal Fitness; Family Life we have covered ;) ). So look for the Personal Management topic to appear under a Madd Money entry in the future. What's more, I'd like your feedback on this particular topic and your own approach to it.