Re: Whose program is it?
Settummanque, the blackeagle (WALTOML@WKUVX1.BITNET)
Wed, 12 May 1993 18:50:13 CDT
Mark Wilson <mwilson@POLARIS.ORL.MMC.COM> writes:
>> From: Troye Kauffman <AEZTROY%UICVMC.BITNET@ricevm1.rice.edu>
>> The role of the troop committee is to provide support for the boys' program,
>> and to ensure that it meets safety and policy guidelines.
>> As much as I dislike having to deal with electronic crap at campouts,
>> if there is no BSA regs against them, it is my job to help the boys develop
>> guidelines for their appropriate use and help enforce them.
>> If electronics are banned, they only learn that scouting is run by fuddy-
>> duddys that seem to reject the 20th century,
>The guys have been in my house. They've seen my satellite dish, stereo
>TV, and stereo system. They've also seen my several
>computers. I even own and use a walkman, discman, and a micro cassette
>recorder. The guys know what I do for a living, too. If they don't realize
>that I am as up on 20th century technology as they are (even if rap does turn
>my stomach), then there is something wrong with them.
>All that good stuff, even the portable goodies, stays home when I go camping.
>I go camping to get away from all that for a while, to recharge my own
>batteries and to try to recapture some of the wonder of the woods. Nothing I
>know of will ruin a pleasant campfire quicker that a blaring radio, except
>maybe a Game Boy.
Perhaps, Mark, its not the technology that they like rather the
_application_ of that technology. When you and I were young, we could
not take our favorite music out with us *in stereo* with loud extra
speakers and a zillion batteries to store in our tent for the eventual
"power drain". We took, if we even *wanted* to, a small transistor
radio and prayed that the one nine-volt battery didn't go down in the
middle of the Indiana Pacers' ball game. We stood around the trading
post or the waterfront areas, listening to the local radio station
(which could be rock, soul or country) and had to endure whatever it
was that we were listening to because it was different. We developed
our own games and talked more to each other (we thought) than these
Today's youth uses that music as background noise to talk and
socialize with. They still talk to each other, and uses the music in
many cases to start conversations with people that they don't know
well. They are used to the noise and when that noise is
taken away, they are confused as to how to interact. The key here,
is how to slowly draw back the noise at the same time allowing them to
still interact as youth do in any kind of environment. By allowing
them to decide the level of "noise", clearly adding that in some
situations, just like back home, noise is NOT permitted or even
neccessary (there are SOME of our Scouts, Mark, that even have to
sleep with music playing through headphones...a modern "security
blanket", perhaps? ). In other situations, allowing them to MODERATE
the amount of noise and (something that we could not do back then that
they can do now) manipulate the KIND of noise to hear.
All of this can further enhance the self-esteem of a youth better than
any badge or position we can offer them...because they are well-used
to people saying "don't play it here"; not to "play it here but keep
it to yourself please".
"Wow. I can LISTEN to my music WITHOUT someone telling me I can't
for....two hours. That's more than I can do at home! Thanks!"
While personally I think that rap is an excuse for many artists to do
and behave and say however they feel or like, even that extreme form
of music (with some parameters, see the other posting I've made on
this subject) *could* be handled in a Troop outdoor activity.
>I don't reject the 20th century. I just like to get away from it every once
>in a while. Most of the adult leaders I know feel the same way.
And I am in agreement with you. However, even camping has moved
forward. We don't dig trenches at most of our camp sites anymore...we
have electricity in many summer camp sites and even lighting. And how
about our recent discussion on the uses of the camp stove?? Stove??
What happened to the campfire??
Some things evovled and improved for the good of the camper...other
>> whereas allowing their use
>> within guidelines teaches them to use them with consideration for other
>> people's airspace and without interfering with their work. I think that we
>> would all agree that the second lesson is one that many kids need to learn!
>While we're at it, let's add lessons on how to use generators and portable
>electric ovens and refrigerators. Shucks, lets just bring out the Winnibago
>with the TV and VCR. Naw, let's stay in the Holiday Inn down the road.
In several outdoor adventure Posts, there *are* lessons on how to use
generators. There was for a while a Emergency Communications and
Rescue Post in Pennsylvania that had a van equipped with a electric
oven, a small refig, and two Honda (tm) generators and light sets.
(and I betcha that, upon closer inspection, they probably had a TV and
VCR in there too....)
I get your point, though.....the key is MODERATION. I had Scouts to
stay at German Gasthausen (guest houses) during our 50-Miler
adventures rather than to prepare every meal outside. For one, it
pushed them to learn how to order, eat and interact with Germans. It
also allowed them a change of pace from the rest of Scouting, which
added to the excitement ("I wonder what we're going to do NEXT
time?"). Finally, it solved the problem of not being able to cook
every place we camped at.
Yes, we *did* have the Metallica band to "accompany" us during the
trip and when things got really tough (a rain storm on the third and
fourth days almost forced us home...but to the strains of "we're not
gonna take (make) it", (sung by evenually ALL of the Scouts (and yes,
Scouters) participating), their spirits were uplifted enough to keep
going. I don't think that seventeen choruses of "I'm on the upward
trail" would do it in this case.
(and for a month afterwards, every time I heard that song, I would
immediately be reminded of a event that occured during the second
trip. More on that in a separate posting).
>I would rather teach them to get along without passive entertainment. I think
>that one lesson that kids really need to learn is how to use the power switch
>rather than the volume knob. They need to learn how to create their own
>adventures, not just observe someone else's. How can they learn about the
>outdoors if they are tuning it out? How can they appreciate nature when they
>are scaring it away?
Mark, I agree...but at the same time, we as Scouters have to CREATE
the OPPORTUNITIES for them to create their own adventures, and not to
play someone (the local Council's or National's) else's adventures.
We can apply your same statement to the idea of camping period. How
can they learn about the outdoors if all they see is the SAME place
year after year?? There's just so much of Camp Happy Land that can be
explored! How can they appreiciate nature when it has been scared
away by OTHER Scouts and Scouters that bring their "own portable
entertainment devices" and shoving them in our faces?
We scare away more Scouts and stifle their capacity to lead when,
ahead of time, we (the adults) have already made all of the rules.
When we have decided EVERYTHING, without youth input or even
questions. While I agree that electronics for the most part, don't
have a continuous place in the outdoor aspect of Scouting, I disagree
with you and others whom stated it has NO place at all.
It, like everything else we do in our program, has to be moderated,
has to be thought out, and the youth..the reason for being...must be
consulted and allowed to feel some sense of control of the situation.
Mike L. Walton
( Settummanque, the blackeagle... ) )
((MAJ) Mike L. Walton (among other "endearing" names) ( )
( AIS/MR Recreation/Leisure Specialist, Lifeskills Inc. ___)_ )
( Phone 502-782-7992 (home) 502-842-2274 (office) |-=-|] )
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