Keeping your word is so important. Especially when it involves children. Unfortunately some people don't think that way. I can handle it if my kids don't win or don't get a prize...but if you say you're going to do it (as a leader of a team or group) you'd better make sure you can put your money where your mouth is.
We have experienced this twice in just the past two years (at least twice where it really stands out). Jared has been in Cub Scouts since the day he was old enough. I try to keep him so encouraged and going because I think it's such a great thing to earn your Eagle badge. What does Boy Scouts teach? Honor. Respect. Doing your best. Not giving up....all positive things. But we've had 2 bad experiences. One where we were given a popcorn sales QUOTA. I kid you not. And it was a ridiculous amount. And my son was expected (at 6 or 7) to go door to door selling popcorn. Have you ever heard that's not safe? I tried to quietly leave the group and find a new one (I didn't really feel like it was something to cause a stir about, it's kind of one of those things for each parent to decide for his or her child...for us that wasn't the right group!) and was lambasted by the leader. Whatever. So, we joined a new pack. Sounded great. No sales quotas for young children, just sell what you can, do your best, yada yada yada. Then, our first activity with the group. The Raingutter Regatta! It was so fun! Jared made his boat (a little wooden sailboat) all by himself! It was cute but definitely "kid made". We get there...everyone is excited....and then I see all these fancy (definitely not kid made) boats and my heart sank. Not for myself, I was proud of Jared's boat--HE DID IT! But think how you'd feel if you were a kid and obviously every other boat there had been done by adults (seriously, maybe the kids picked the colors...if that). Then....Jared won! Out of all the boys. Weebelos and under! He won! First place! At his first event with this pack! We were all just so proud and I was able to tell him, "see? it doesn't matter if yours was the fanciest..." It was awesome! His buttons were almost bursting! And they had a little ceremony at the end. No awards but PROMISES of awards to come. A ribbon. He could NOT WAIT for his ribbon telling that he had won the raingutter regatta! That's huge to a boy! He was 7 at the time (I know this because I was hugongously pregnant with Nathan) and we waited...and waited and waited. Meanwhile, he moved up a rank in scouts and the ceremony was supposed to be at a pack camping trip (meaning everyone and the leaders would be there-I didn't go but his daddy did). No one showed up. Those little Wolf Scouts advanced with no pomp and circumstance. And we never did get that ribbon. Like I said, don't promise it if it's not coming. Kids remember better than elephants or women.
Our second experience with this kind of thing is still going on. And with Jared again. I wonder what I'm supposed to teach this kid out of all of this!? His baseball team was supposed to have won 1st place out of all the teams except an umpire called the game with time left for one inning. One inning that our team was going to be up to bat. And this isn't one of those "how could you call that out/safe????" things...Time is officially set at games. (Didn't want you to think it was just mama bear stuff going on here.) Anyways, no one could protest it "correctly" because the umps left. Immediately. But it was contested....fast forward, the boys win the game that was for all the marbles (or so we thought) and they were #1!!!!!!! Or not. So, the coaches of our team decided to get the boys a trophy that said "Champions" because they should've had the opportunity to play that last inning...and even so, they played a great season and they had great sportsmanship, etc. It was deserved. Nothing. Never even had an end of the season party at all, let alone trophies.
Seriously, if you are a leader or a coach (especially of young children): MEAN WHAT YOU SAY AND SAY WHAT YOU MEAN. It won't hurt them to not get a trophy or award, but it will hurt them if you let them down and don't keep your word.