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Scouts are Trustworthy?

The other weekend, Alex and I went to a Cub Scout bowling tournament that was hosted by the district council. It was held at the very nicely remodeled West Seattle Bowl and was a lot of fun. The scout threw the first ball and the parent threw the second ball.

I want to take just a moment to brag about Alexander's Scout pack. Whenever we have a competition or a game, every one of the Cubs is an excellent sport. There are never any tears or hard feelings if someone doesn't win, and I have never seen a parent act badly. It is a real pleasure to see these kids cheering each other on and helping each other. If one of the kids falls down and skins an elbow, or something, there are 20 Scouts on him in an instant, all trying to administer first aid before a leader or parent can even get close. They are really just a fantastic bunch of kids.

I guess I am spoiled by our pack because I am a little astounded at what happened at the district bowling tournament. The kids were divided into groups based on their rank. Alex is a Wolf Scout so he competed against other Wolves (2nd graders). There were a lot of Bears (3rd graders) and Webelos (4th and 5th graders), and just a few Tigers (1st graders). To take part in the tournament, the parent either had to register in advance, or at the door. Some of the Wolves registered at the door which involved the Scout and the parent going up to the organizer and telling them what rank they were. They were not wearing their uniforms like Alexander so the leaders had to take them at their word. Alex and I are not exactly pro bowlers and he did not place in the top 3 so he did not get a trophy. When they handed out the trophies, the organizers very clearly announced over the microphone that they were awarding trophies for Wolves and then called up the winners. The winners came up, took the trophies, and then went home with their parents. I am recounting all of this because later, because when the organizers went back to headquarters and were recording the results, they determined that the 1st *and* 2nd place finishers in the Wolves category were actually Bears - a year older. They were from different families and packs, so they were not together. What that means is that 2 different father son teams walked up to the organizers, lied to them about what their rank was, competed, very clearly heard that the prizes were for younger kids, and then went up there and took trophies. It is possible, I suppose, that they were confused. Both pairs. Twice. That after 3 years of Scouting they didn't know what their rank was. After working with our Pack I can tell you that every one of our Scouts knows exactly what their rank is. They have den time with other Scouts of their rank. They have a book for their rank, a neckerchief, and a slide, too. They are always organized by rank. I find it unlikely that they could not have known.

Alexander's pack gives me hope for the future generation. Of the 12 qualities of a good Scout, "Trustworthy" is number one. I want to believe that the 2 father son teams that cheated at the bowling tournament were just "confused" or very, very stupid, and not liars. I am not sure if it helps the future generations that the best possibility is that they are just very confused. Fortunately it was just 2 kids and the bulk of the Scouts seem to still be in the right path to being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

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