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WHAT I’VE LEARNED
Dr. Douglas D. Backous
How do you measure the success of your Scouting program?
This Scoutmaster operates with surgical precision.
DR. DOUGLAS D. BACKOUS HAS PROVEN they fail, they may never get a result, we worked hard to create a
his talent for inspiring and develop- beyond that level. structure so that if a kid wants to do
ing young people in two different On the other hand, you’ve the work and get Eagle, he can.
arenas. He is the Scoutmaster of Troop also got to know when to
600, which recently marked its 50th push somebody. Recently, on a DO YOU PUT A HIGH PRIORITY ON
anniversary with an Eagle Court of canoe trip with my 17-year-old EAGLE IN YOUR TROOP? We do not
Honor for 11 Scouts. That’s a record son, we encountered 40-mile- set a goal for how many Eagles we’re
for the most Eagles earned at once per-hour head winds and big going to have, but everybody’s going
in the Chief Seattle Council. waves. I looked at my son and to have the chance. If 10 Scouts want
FactSheet As a youth, he earned the said, “Whatever you do, keep to become Eagle, and they really try,
rank of Life Scout, and he this boat upright. I trust you.” all 10 can make it. Unlike many com-
Dr. Douglas D.
is a Brotherhood Member We got through those waves, petitive sports, Scouting is a program
Backous
of the Order of the Arrow. and he was a different kid five where everybody can win. And if you
SCOUTER SINCE: 2007
Backous also is a surgeon, who minutes later. help somebody else win, you get extra
HOME: Bellevue, Wash.
teaches residents and interns recognition.
CURRENT POSITION:
Scoutmaster, Troop
at Virginia Mason Medical ELEVEN OF YOUR TROOP MEM- The more important measure,
600 Center in Seattle. BERS—A QUARTER OF THE 44 for me, is this: How many kids went
DAY JOB: Ear and skull-
BOYS—BECAME EAGLE SCOUTS into our Scouting program and are
base surgeon, Virginia
DO YOU SEE ANY SIMILARITIES THIS YEAR. WHAT HAPPENED? better people as a result? That’s a
Mason Medical
Center, Seattle
BETWEEN TEACHING MEDICINE First, we had a group of boys tough metric to generate, but that’s
PROUDEST MOMENT:
AND GUIDING BOY SCOUTS? who joined Scouts together what we’re really after—developing
When our troop
When you’re teaching surgery at the same time, and they good, solid citizens who contribute to
earned extra money
with a fundraiser this
to an intern or resident, at challenged each other. Also, a N society. ¿
some point you have to give point of motivation for them
S
O
year, they came up
N
A
with the idea—on
him or her the instrument. was, wouldn’t it be cool to
E
L

H
their own—to spend
A
As a student progresses, he or get your Eagle in time for the
H
it on a camp-out with
I
C
M
an underprivileged
she is allowed to do more. The troop’s 50th anniversary?
HAS A SCOUT, SCOUT LEADER, or other
troop. They’re
student can’t do a reconstruc- the work of the 11 Scouts by giving
Scouting volunteer made a significant
learning lessons
tion without first mastering SOME PEOPLE MIGHT LOOK AT THOSE
difference in your life, or the lives of
about giving tithes of
the award to two kids who hadn’t yet
a basic incision. There’s a NUMBERS AND WONDER IF TROOP
others, by extraordinary service or the
time and resources.
earned it.
Scouting virtues he or she modeled?
lot of similarity with that in 600 IS AN “EAGLE SCOUT MILL.” HOW We do have a process to help guide
Show your thanks with a nomina-
Scouting. You’re sequentially building WOULD YOU RESPOND? Nobody got our Scouts with the timing of their
tion to the BSA’s 100th Anniversary
confidence in kids. expressed through the process. Every Eagle projects. Once we had a Scout
National Hall of Leadership. To make
Both are about finding the right one of those 11 Scouts worked their who had to redo his entire Eagle
your nomination, go online to scouting.
opportunities to let people advance tails off. In fact, there were two kids project because he neglected to get a
org/100years/100years/nationalhall
with competence and confidence. who weren’t quite ready, and we had key signature. He was a super kid, and ofleadership.aspx. Nominations will be
If you put them ahead too fast and to tell them. We couldn’t invalidate he redid the project cheerfully. But, as accepted until Feb. 8, 2010.
16 SCOUTING ¿ JANUARY•FEBRUARY 2010 JANUARY•FEBRUARY 2010thinspacethinspace ¿ SCOUTING 17
WhatI'veLearned.indd 16 10/27/09 2:17 PM
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