Summary: What would you have done?
David D. Miller +49 6221 404415 (DDM@DHDIBM1.BITNET)
Thu, 1 Oct 1992 13:43:19 CET
As you're probably aware, British Scouting is much more lax on the high moral
issues than BSA: If it's legal, there's not a lot the leaders can do about it.
A few years back, we had a 16-year-old Scout openly smoking at camp. The
minimum age for smoking in Britain is 16, so there was no legal problem,
but the effect on the younger kids had to be minimised. Smoking from age
fourteen is not uncommon in the UK, and most of the Scouts in the Troop had
seen Sean smoking in school before.
The answer was an afternoon of instant water activities: it was a very hot
and dry summer, with temperatures into the upper 70's Fahrenheit (mid 20s
Celsius), and a cold river running through the campsite, so none of the
Scouts were in the least bit upset at being told to go swimming in the river
fully dressed. Of course, Sean carried his cigarettes everywhere, and when
he realised that his supply for the remainder of the camp was as wet as the
rest of his clothes, he let everyone else know!
The transformation from the 'hard man' of the camp to an object of ridicule
was surprisingly rapid. The younger kids were all shown smoking from a
slightly different perspective, and found it very amusing.
Sean left the Troop shortly afterwards, dropped out of High School and joined
the Black Watch (much to the relief of his Scouters and teachers!).
David D. Miller
Scouting in Europe - A Unique Experience
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City