(no name) ((no email))
Thu, 2 May 1991 21:06:00 EDT
A lot of your points are good, however as many of us old timer BSA scouters
know, many of the changes are NOT for boys or the pchange; it is for the
maintananceof the program financially and numberically.
Our first real exposure to these change was not in the past two to five years
but rather in 1973. In that year, we said "goodbye" to the drab green khahi
shirts and pants that have ben the attraction for many a boy in favor of
modern contemporary scout designed by Oscar de Renta. The pants were touted
as being roomy enough to put a Scout Handbook in the side pocket (and the
first were that large...but as cost set in, those pcoets got smaller and
smaller and you are lucky now days to place your wallet in one!
Uniforming was one problem. Our biggest program was takeing a caping and out
door program and trying to make it fit evrywhere. It did NOT fit!
We tryed stuffing it in our inner cities...on our reservations...in overseas
areas..the concept ewas there but it did not fit. Kids..whereever they may be
want to go CAMPING! They want to be OUTSIDE!
The advancement progrm was yet another area and it is one that I hear so much
conflict haeartburn and yes, bellyacheing about. How in the hell can a 13 year
old make Eagle Scout, they ask?? And what do we do with him when he does??
Scouting is a two point five year program. It is possible for such "wonders"
to exist. Unfortunately, we turn kids into "merit badge machines" instead of
what the program was meant to be, a device to get the kid to think about a
career or vocation. What do we do with those 13.6 Eagle Scouts??
We send them to the Order of the Arrow...we send them to the National Eagle
Scout Association. We send him to work at summer camps. In other words, we
tell him "you've done it all..now get lost!
At Fort Knox, Kentucky where I grew up at...every Eagle candidate had to do
two service projects...one for the record and one other prject. He had to give l
kleaership to a interunit events or campout. There was no documentation.
There was no" eagle scout review panel". It was just tradition. (ah that
word again, Gary!)
A lot of times, we could tell the ones ready for the Eagle Scout Board of
review....and we could tell the ones just "going through the motions for the
badge of glory" as we would say it. The ones "going through the motions:
never made it out in one piece from their Board...bucuase they could not
convince the Board that their REAL Eagle project was one in which he
GAVE LEADERHIP to.
That is what we are missing from our programs. We are inventing new and
insiriing ways for us to retain older kids. Instaed of giving us new programs
to send them all off to, how bout letting us keep and grow our Eagles?!?!
(please note: at the present time, both the Venture and Varsirty programs are
OPTIONS of a local council and of its units. hoewever, there is a move to
make either program a national program area for the 13-17 year olds!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City