Re: Scouting for boys?
David D. Miller +49 6221 404415 (DDM@DHDIBM1.BITNET)
Tue, 11 Aug 1992 15:52:47 CST
> However, my other pseudo point was that why kick 18 years old OUT?
> If they are not yet ready to be a leader, maybe BSA should provide
> a YOUNG adult program, like other world scouting programs, to
> give this group a chance to mature and become our future leaders.
I've just spent two weeks at the 9th World Moot, an international camp
for Scouts aged 18-25, and have seen how effective such a "young adult"
program can be.
BSA was not officially represented, although there were two BSA members
registered as such, and a couple of others (incl. myself) with other
contingents. The reason given by BSA (by the Exec for TAC) was that BSA
didn't have an organised section in this age range, so no US contingent
could be put together. (Having prevented Scouts from his Council taking
part, this Exec put on a different hat and attended part of the Moot
Other countries which were represented had similar difficulties: the UK
contingent was a mix of Venture Scouts, Ranger Guides, Scouters and
Guiders - all wearing a special uniform for the Moot. Canada, with
Scouts Canada, Girl Guides Canada and Scouts du Quebec, managed to put
together a single contingent - the first time ever that these three
organisations have cooperated as one at this age level. Some countries
had problems the other way: New Zealand Rovers have an upper age limit
of 31, and so had to leave behind a large section of their membership.
Not fitting the age range is no excuse for not sending a contingent.
It is now clear to me, as it wasn't a couple of weeks ago, that there
is a major gap in the Scouting program of some countries. In the US,
the Boy Scout program ends at 18, with two options: Exploring, which
just isn't traditional Scouting, and leadership, which many 18 year olds
are just not ready for. (In the UK, there must normally be a two year
age gap between the oldest Scouts (16) and those leading them. Venture
Scout Leaders must be a whole year older than the oldest Ventures.)
GSUSA just has leadership. For those who go to college, APO may be
available, but it is just not sufficient to meet the need.
In the UK, there is an alternative called Scout Fellowship. This is an
organisation of former Scouts which provides service to Scouting, and
which is open to all. The problem with Fellowship is that in some areas
it's dominated by former Scouters in their 60s, and in others is a young
person's organisation: the two don't mix. The UK contingent at the Moot
realised that there was a need to reexamine the upper age limit of
Venture Scouts, and to make provision at national level for Scouts in
It's one thing to hold members in the program until they are mature
enough to be leaders. It's another thing altogether to train them in
leadership skills when many are not ready, kick them out at their
eighteenth or twentieth birthday, and then try to recruit them again
ten years later.
(I'll put in a report on the Moot itself as soon as I can type it in!)
David D. Miller
Scouting in Europe - A Unique Experience
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City