Competition is a good thing. We learn new skills and new solutions, then hone them further, through practice and competition. We compete on the basketball court and football field. We compete in school and in our careers.
We recently moved to a new state and my sons have been visiting troops here. Each troop is a bit different, with a different mix of boys—different ages, different schools, different interests—as well as each a different mix of adults. One may tend towards canoeing, another towards hiking, another more towards service projects.
No one troop does everything “according to Baden-Powell”, but every troop, I believe, delivers the promise of Scouting as best they can. Each troop finds their “thing”, or they find it hard to find members. Every day, our Troops compete, not just for new Scouts but for the time and attention of each and every boy and adult leader on our rosters.
It seems the Intelligencia is determined to stamp out competition, believing it hurts our children’s self-esteem when they can’t win every game. Life is competition… but Scouting is unique among most games our children play. Only 5 boys can play on a basketball team at one time; 9 boys on a baseball team; 11 boys on a football team. How many boys can play on the Scouting team? All of ’em, 4-8 in a patrol, as many patrols as you can fit. As Baden-Powell told us, “It is important to arrange games and competition so that all Scouts of the troop take part.” Everybody wins in the game of Scouting.