Re: Uniforms for Boy Scouts...(the sequel)
James Brown (aa473@CLEVELAND.FREENET.EDU)
Wed, 30 Jun 1993 21:05:34 -0400
A couple of thoughts for what they are worth.
Based in small part on my experience many years ago when I was 1st
"drafted" by my company to help start an Explorer Post. That was
easy It was special interest post and their interest was in an
area I knew little about. Served on the organizing committee and
got out :-).
Things got more "interesting" when co-worker heard I was an Eagle
he wanted to form a troop in his home area. It was the bottom end
"project housing" in town. He was one of the few males living there
with his family and supporting them. I agreed to help but on the
condition he be the SM and I was the AS. That worked for the first month
until the company sent him away to school for six months and I found
myself the acting SM and "token white guy" for the troop. (Thats
a story for around a campfire with lots of time not E-Mail).
>The city has three large "ghettos" whereby section 8 (low income,
>government-assisted) housing is provided for the residents. Around 80
>percent of the families here have lived two generations in the same
>locations. The families are dysfunctional, and in most cases, it is
>grandma or older mom raising sons and daugthers and grandsons and
>granddaughters. In only a few cases is there a male figure there in a
>household, and mostly to "sponge" off of the family's limited
Sound familiar :-(
>The city received a five year grant to combat crime (drug dealing,
>prostitution and vandalism) and they are in the third year of the
>grant. Part of the grant was written to provide "recreational
>services to the community"; yet, other than a poorly staffed
>recreation center (they had to fill the swimming pool with sand and
>turn it into a playground after adults living there littered the pool
>with glass), there exists very little for the youth to do except "hang
FIRST SUGGESTION Avoid using grant money if at all possible. The
last thing the kids need is another gov handout.
>The city has a "daddy warbucks", a multi-millionaire whom lives just
>north of the city's "main ghetto", and he's wanting to build a new
>shopping center for the community right across the street from the
>entrance to the neighborhood. The "daddy warbucks" is also the
>Council's Vice-President for Finance and at one time, was the Council
>President and Commissioner for the Council that existed here before
>they merged. So David is well-aware of the problems and financial
>needs of a Scout Troop and does not need to be "sold" on the need or
>the necessity of getting financing for the new unit.
SECOND SUGGESTION No free money from big daddy. Kids don't need
>* I need uniforms for 20 Scouts, between 11 and 14. We are limiting
>the age bracket because I feel that we have already "missed out" on
>getting the high-schoolers to do anything except "profile in the
>parking lots" and "beat up on the little ones".
I don't want to sound nieve but look over some of the older guys,
offer to coach them ahead of and away from the troop in basic skills
and let them lead even if they are only a half step ahead.
>* I need to gather community support, rather than to do what everyone
>else suggests and talk with "daddy warbucks" about giving the new unit
>$2000 over a three year period to get this unit going. I feel that
>community support would net us more, would expose the unit to the
>general community as a positive project, and finally would
>"tease" the other units into helping out.
FINALLY a USEFUL SUGGESTION
Get "Daddy Warbucks" to issue a challenge grant. If the boys will
work at a community service project they can earn a uniform and
money for the Troop. (See current discussion on troop fund raising
This can also get the parents involved (those who help get their
registration paid, and on the QT their share of outing cost kicked
in (who wants to admit to their kid they can't be part of the
needed leadership because they don't have the money to "pay their
>* I also need to insure that this new unit won't be the "black unit
>in town" (most of the residents of the neighborhood is white), and
>become a "dumping ground" for those Scouts that other units don't want
>or can't deal with.
If it turns into the best unit in town it will not :-) (Granted
not the only answer but I suspect you know the real world things
that need to be done as well as or better then I do.
>* Finally, I need to be able to separate myself from active
>participation in this new unit.
Not at first. Remember there are a lot of things that are "strange"
just because they are new. Your not there to run the show just
to find the answer in those books you carry. Also someone needs
to coach the youth leaders (what ever age) so they are that "half
If all else fails take'em camping. Thats how it all started.
Jim Brown (Thanking the Good Lord I'm not in your shoes and just
a little green with envy.)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City