Day One Hatchet Job
Dr. Steven C. Myers (R1SCM@AKRONVM.BITNET)
Sat, 19 Jun 1993 00:06:07 EDT
I have not yet seen the tape of the show, but have heard so many
comments that I feel that I did see it. I and my committee chair are
going to send a letter to all parents detailing how troop 1 deals with the
issue of youth protection. The parents have a right to know that we
are trained and how we are trained. We need to tell them the things that
we take for granted (2 deep, no shared tents, separate bath houses ...).
However, I believe that this show addresses a serious issue. I just don't
believe the producers of the show were interested in light but only heat.
You know -- they can't get us in the courts, but perhaps they can
malign our character in prime time. Ratings are more important than
honest reporting. For example, yes there is a list, but not just of
child molestors, but of anyone BSA feel should not be leading boys. Yes,
there are a hundred cases as cited, but they said 100 cases of abuse,
not 100 cases of child molestation. Mixing "apples" and "oranges" can be
quite effective if you are trying to confuse an issue rather than honestly
examin it. Sure BSA has problems, every council has problems, but when those
100 cases are measured against 1 million adult volunteers, I bet our ratio of
problems to adults would stand with anyones. Lets not make light of the
effort that the BSA has taken to assure that Youth Protection Training gets
to all volunteers. More must be done, but don't derail the train just because
it hasn't reached its final destination.
Volunteers like us give 5, 10 even 20 hours per week to provide our communities
with young men ready to contribute and uphold scouting ideals as they begin
to work, marry, raise the next generation of scouts and make the world a better
and decent place to live. There are so many things that a boy can get into
(much of which is bad) that scouting offers a chance to make a real difference
and has for the past century. My real fear is that the poor publicity from thi
s and other attacks on scouting will further discourage parents from supporting
scouting and allowing their kids into the program. A few years ago I hears an
amazing statistic -- that teh BSA litigation budget is $7,000,000 per year. If
true then it takes one million boy registrations just to cover the legal fees.
Can this be why camps are being closed? Why there is not sufficient revenue
to keep councils from mergeing? Just a thought.
Yep. I am angry, but I am not sticking my head in the sand. Just tonight
I and three members of my committee made some specific plans to better
screen adult leaders in troop 1 and to provide parents the security that
they need. Nevertheless, I plead with my parents -- just let me do my
job in the very best way I can.
BTW something REALLT SPECIAL happened to me tonight and a member of the list
has asked to be the one to announce it to you, my electronic friends. So
stay tuned. Looks like a big scouting year for me.....
Scoutmaster Troop 1, Akron, OH
Soon to be some kind of animal (just doesn't sound right does it!!!)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City