Monica C. Pilman (TACVMCP@VM.TCS.TULANE.EDU)
Thu, 2 May 1991 08:57:50 CDT
I love your ideas, re: stop this bickering over religion in the courts (it
is serving to HURT, not HELP the Scout movement), integrate the sexes, and
bring in more minorities.
I couldn't have made your points better myself. I suspect all of the issues
you raised are "hot" items, and will generate a lot of controversy as the
Scouting movement evolves to meet the needs of youth today.
I apparently missed all the flaming taking place over Don Izard's comments,
both original and follow up...makes me wonder if I'm on a backwater in the
network somehow, and not all messages make it my way! I'm sorry to hear
it happened...it sounded like people were forgetting the maxim that it is
okay to disagree, but not okay to be disagreeable.
Like a lot of scout leaders, I got into this because my son's den needed a
den leader, and it meant enough to him to be a scout that I was willing to
sacrifice my time and effort for his sake. I expected to spend some
quality time with my son, and that I got. But I got more. I got to spend
some quality time with other people's sons, and with other adults with
interests and values similar to my own. I can see the good effects of the
scouting program on these boys and on my own son. It is easy to take pride
in the things that I have worked on to further the program.
But I am not blind to what I perceive to be the flaws in this program either.
At a recent camporee, the cub scout packs in our district were invited to
the Scout reservation (a place cub scout packs are normally not very welcome
around here). The cub scouts did family camping, and had their own program
seperate from, and designed not to interfere with, the boy scout camporee
taking place that same weekend. Cub Scouts even had a seperate campfire
Nevertheless, I had an unpleasant conversation with a fellow leader at the
cracker barrel on the last night of this camporee, who sincerely felt that
cub scouts should never go camping, should never be invited to a camporee,
and that letting women into the ranks of leaders is ruining the whole
program. I calmly and reasonably presented my opposition views, and to his
credit, while he disagreed with me on every point, he was not disagreeable.
He was polite, he listened to me and did not interrupt, but he made it clear
that he was an old-timer, and that he felt the "new, improved" program
was ruining everthing...and he predicted he would soon cease to be associated
with an organization that discarded so many valuable traditions. He was
not alone in his views, by any means, and he sounds very disheartened about
Upon reflection, I find that I have a lot of sympathy for his feelings and
for his position. He has very good memories of a time when the scouting
organization was all male, the reservation was the sole territory of the
older scouts, and older scouts did not have to be careful about the cub
scouts and their families sharing their camping space. He doesn't want
change, and I do. He doesn't think change will benefit him or scouting, and
I still think that scouting, to survive, will of necessity have to change.
I will still be sorry to see him go, because we share something, he and I.
We both love the program, we have both contributed significant time and
effort to it, and we have both enjoyed the rewards. I only wish I was
eloquent enough to convince him that change is good, and that I really want
him and those like him to stay and continue to contribute.
Don, if you are out there and still listening, don't give up on us. Don't
let a few flames keep you down. I think there is room for diversity both
in the scouting program and on this list. I have enjoyed reading your
postings, and responding to them, even (or especially) when we disagreed.
Every good organization needs an an-advocate, someone to poke holes in our
magnificent plans, and point out to us what the weaknesses are of our ideas.
Then it becomes possible to revise ideas and make them stronger and
more stable before implementing them. A weakness I see in many organizations
is too many people who all agree with each other...their programs often
have serious flaws that aren't discovered until too late.
Don't go...you've made some valuable contributions, and could continue to do
--- Monica Pilman
Cubmaster, Pack 234
Committe Member, Troop 230
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City