Re: Rangers explained
Gino Lucrezi (lucrezi@DSIAQ1.ING.UNIVAQ.IT)
Mon, 26 Jul 1993 16:10:06 +0100
> third of the total Royal Ranger population. This raises a question that I
> would like to "throw out" TO SCOUTS-L, what do you do to attract and keep the
> older boys interested and active in scouting.
In AGESCI, we have 33% of the boys (and girls) in Cubs (8-11), 44% in
Scouts (12-16) and 23% in Rovers (17-21). Actually, since many Rovers
reach their Leaving before 21, they are less than Scouts because the
program is shorter.
How do we achieve this? It's difficult to tell. Contrary to the BSA,
we emphasize the three branches to be all part of the same program,
presented to the boys in a way appropriate to their age. This is
emphasized by the fact that a group usually has a Pack, a Troop, and a
Clan, and the boys share the same building, so the Cub looks at Scouts
as examples, knowing he is expected to become one, and the same is
true of Scouts wrt Rovers. If you read B-P's "Wolf Cub's Handbook"
you'll see a nice picture with a Cub, a Scout and a Rover, each
looking at the older one.
This "wholeness" in the program is reflected in that even Cub leaders
are working towards their Cubs eventually reaching their "Leaving".
Leaving is the moment when a Rover leaves the Clan, having received
all the fruits of being in the Scout Movement, is the real master of
his following life, without the need of his old leaders (he can now
find his own examples and choose them by himself), and he chooses to
translate all he learned as a Scout in his life, committing his life
to the Service of others.
The Leaving, like the Promise, is NOT an award.
This Service is often as a Scouter (in which case he enters his
group's Leader's Community, or some other group's), but can be outside
of the association as well. Of course, the scope of his service can
change during his life, but the committment is there.
Oneness of intent is also guaranteed by a group's Leaders Community.
Rover activities are a mix of Service activities (where the emphasis
is on experiencing various ways of serving the others, so that you
know what you are asking when you ask for your Leaving), Community
activities (i.e. learnign to live together with others, sharing joy
and suffering, planning all activities together), and "Strada" (i.e.
long Hikes or other outdoors activities, where the boys can experience
"poverty", physical fatigue, being always on the move, etc.).
Service activities can be personal or Clan-wide. A Rover is expected
to experience both service in the Association (i.e. helping Cub and
Scout leaders) and outside (with handicapped people, older people, in
difficult areas of their town, and so on).
The first year as a Rover is different, they are called Novices and
are part of the Noviciate, which has most of its activities (but by no
means all) on its own without the rest of the Clan. I am currently a
"Maestro dei Novizi", and in my Noviciate there are four boys and four
girls (all of them 17 years old).
I descrived you mostly Rovers because
- I know better Rover methodology
- it's where there are most differences between Italy and most other countries.
Note that in many other countries Rovers are defined 18-25 or even older.
> Rgarding girls....
> RR in the United States does not endorse girls the program. In fact, women
> serve as leaders only in the Straight Arrow and Buckarro programs. Yes,
> different cultures, different realities, as you put it. There are countries
> with RR programs (Australia for example) that do have integrated programs
> (programmes ?) that work quite well. Perhaps we, like the US BSA, feel that
> the program provides a place were a boy can develop a part of his life free
> from social pressures. I don't exactly know...what do you all think?
It's true that having boys and girls together creates "social pressure
" where he boy feels he is expected to behave in a certain way because
of the girls' presence, but this applies to other moments of their
life as well. We found that co-ed scouting is a good way to have boys
learn to behave "naturally" even in presence of girls, and vice versa.
In the first days of this (in 1974, when an all-male and an all-female
association merged to create AGESCI) it was difficult, and there were
many moments when people thought they had opened a Pandora's Box with
all sort of troubles in it, but in the end I think we succeded, and we
now have an environment where boys and girls can learn their
differences and similarities, respect each other, and don't live by
our society's stereotypes.
Gino Lucrezi @ Universita` "V. Rivera" - L'Aquila - Italy
FIDO: 2:335/602.1 2:335/601.4
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