The Bad Akela


My only incident that really set me off was with another Akela within our Campsite.  This camp is five nights and six days.  All other Camps were two nights and three days.  It is a very long time to be away from home, for everyone.   So, this incident came towards the end of Camp.  This Akela is the Cubmaster and the spouse the Webelos Den Leader.  All very well-meaning folks. However, over the course of the week, I came to realize that they work the Cubscout program way differently than I do.  They are very by the book. No grey/gray areas whatsoever.  So much so that they had all the Den Leader books, Beltloop/Pin Books with them.  I carry mine on the iPhone via a App.

The incident involved my son and his buddy.  Myself, another DL and the boys walked up to an ongoing flag retirement ceremony that we did not know was going on.  (We are in the upper camp site and this is in the main campsite of where three packs were brought together as a Troop.)  The boys walked right through it.  A DL told us what was going on and the DL and I stopped and became reverent.  The boys did not hear and started to play with a pine cone.  The Cubmaster, rightly so, stopped them again and reminded them that a ceremony was going on.  However, then took it too far.  The Cubmaster then challenged one boy asking if he had gotten his Citizenship Activity Pin.  This reduced him to tears and he ran back to his tent.  My son was shocked and came to me.  I did not hear all of this, but watched it happen.  Suffice to say Elliot repeated what happened.  I explained that the Cubmaster was correct for reminding you about the ceremony.

Shocked that a Cubmaster would creduce a boy to tears, I went to investigate as my WDL went to help with the Scout.   I asked the Cubmaster, as a Cubmaster what they said.   I was not happy.  I pointed out to them, that they were correct in the fact that they can remind/correct Scouts for the flag ceremony.  However, they had NO RIGHT to challenge them in earning a Pin.  I told them that was over the line and to back off from my boys.

Again, the post from Clarke Green’s The Aims of Scouting rings out clearer than anything.  “Our job is not the flight, but the aim.”    In the Law of the Pack, it states: The Cub Scout follows Akela.
The Cub Scout helps the pack go.
The pack helps the Cub Scout grow.
The Cub Scout gives goodwill.

As the Akela, specifically a Cubmaster, it is our job to help these youth keep their aim.  This other Cubmaster altered the flight and got the Scout off target.  I do not and cannot stand by when any Adult, let alone an Akela/Cubmaster belittles a Scout.  It does not work with youth, adults and in any setting.  Scouting is supposed to be a safe environment.  A place where Scouts can mess-up and learn.

The interesting aftermath is that the husband, the WDL confronted my Committee Chair, who was in camp the whole  week saying, Hey, we need to have a man to man talk about Adam.  Hello.  Did you not learn in Woodbadge that Communication is a two-way.  Come talk to me about my actions, not my Committee Chair. If you want to deal with an issue, talk to those involved, not those who were not there. All he got was a one way communication.  He did not resolve anything. It was not his issue.  Needless to say, they kept their distance as we did too.

“Our job is not the flight, but the aim.”  New words to live by.

About Adam R. Cox

Current Skyloo District Commissioner Current Skyloo District & Council Trainer Current Council Member at Large (Cascade Pacific Council) Former Tiger DL & CM of P221 in Pioneer District Former Skyloo District CS Roundtable Commissioner. Former Ast Council Commissioner for Commissioner Tools and Communication Former Pioneer District Training Chair WE1-492-09 Beaver W1-492-11 Bobwhite TG ASM Logistic W1-492-17-2
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2 Responses to The Bad Akela

  1. scouteradam says:

    Sarah: Thanks for the great comments. Sounds like you and I are on the same page. I would only say that if I could enhance or show you a different way in learning something, that would be great. I am always up for learning something new and exciting.

    Yours in Scouting!

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  2. Sarah Jones says:

    I HATE that leaders in other packs pass judgement on the wayothers do their Scouting. I get this as well here in Australia – having 17 years as a Cub Leader, I get very peeved when others question my pack/group and way we do things. OK, at times I let off steam and things annoy me. But NEVER feel you have the right to critise my program, or the cubs in my pack.

    We have award here for ten yr olds call the Gray Wolf. A number of packs in the district have had Cubs earn this. I havent. My cubs are just to darm busy enjoying themselves. It’s not compulsory or anything for the cubs to earn. If they get it, they get it. If they dont becuase they are to busy being cubs and enjoying themsleves (which those who have earnt their Gray Wolf). Yes I provide the opportunities to earn the badges needed, do the activities required, but the cubs have to do their part as well. I am not about to spoon feed my cubs to get it. The Scout Leaders feel the same about the Scout Section’s Scout Medadillion (earnt by mainly 14 year olds in Australia, before they link to Venturers). The Scout Troop hasnt had any earn it eaither (the troop is 5 years old, the Cub pack almost 4 years old)

    Sometimes, ‘the process’ (or journey) of Scouting is far more important than any award that the youth may or may not have earnt along the way

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