Re: Looking for a Troop
Settummanque, the blackeagle (WALTOML@WKUVX1.BITNET)
Fri, 22 Oct 1993 08:59:33 CDT
"Sheldon L. Holtz" <shel@WELL.SF.CA.US> writes:
>I'm on the hunt for a new Boy Scout Troop.
(explaination deleted only in the interest of space)
>I noted that they had soccer *every* weekend -- that one weekend out of four
>would be worth skipping soccer in order to accrue the real benefit of
>scouting -- that is, intimacy with the back country. I got blank looks,
>particularly from the parents.
Did anyone ask *why* they have placed their sons IN Scouting??
>I'm not naive -- I know the conflict between scouting and organized sports.
>Yet I also know there are troops out there that actually go camping and
>backpacking. However, one longtime ASM explained to me that the scoutmaster
>is a soccer coach, too, and that sports was his first priority. I want to be
>clear here: I have no disrespect for people who set sports as a priority
I don't either. But at the same time, the Scoutmaster and others are
NOT promoting the Scouting program as it should be promoted. While
sports is important, Scouting is important for the longtime benefit.
The way that I have compromised with this as a former Scoutmaster was
to hold my meetings IMMEDIATELY after ball practice and allow those
Scouts to come in their pads, uniforms, etc. and to have them change
in the bathroom of the school into a Scouting one or street clothes
(under NO circumstances I allow them to wear their shoulder pads and
soccer uniforms to the meetings...that's like, I told them, them
showing up for soccer practice in Scout shirts)! Since our Troop
meetings run about a hour and fifteen minutes, the extra hour before
getting home one night a week did not hurt many Scouts (there were
some that complained at first, about getting home and eating dinner,
but I explained that if they wish to do both, they have to sacifice
something in exchange. That stopped when we held three meetings at
the pizza parlor's meeting room).
We even managed to pick up a couple new Scouts from the ball practices
because of this.
There were SOME coaches that stated "either pansy Scouts or my team"
and after I find out whom the coaches are, I go to see them and
explain that we are trying to do the same things, and it don't have to
be a competing thing beween Scouts and sports.
(of course, being in a military community, I usually (taking advice
from my Dad), shove my ID card in his face and state "Lay off the
comments, Specialist (or Sergeant, or Private)". This does NOT work
in all cases, because once I was surprised that a Major responded "Go
back to your Boy Scouts, Captain"! Dad's idea worked..... sort of.
>However, this is not what I want for my son. Regretably, I
>have decided to abandon this troop and find one that believes in outdoor
>activities and has regularly-scheduled campouts and backpacks that are taken
>somewhat seriously. I have already been in touch with the SM of T173, which
>has an ambitious schedule (a 55-mile overnight bike trek, a cross-country
>ski weenkend, three training backpacks leading to a longterm in th4e Grand
>Canyon...) We'll be attending their troop meeting next week to check them
Shel, be careful that you are NOT going to the opposite extreme with
the program that you desire for your Scout. Going from little outdoor
activity to MUCH outdoor activity (possibly more than your son can
handle now) could be just as harmful.
Let us all know what happened. And I'm sorry that your enthusiam for
getting your son in Scouting finally and you active again turned sour.
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) |-=-|] )
( 3201-D Cave Springs Avenue -- Greenwood, KY 42104-4439 -------- )
( WALTOML@WKUVX1 / "No such thing as strong coffee, only weak people" )
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( "I don't speak for Lifeskills, Inc. or WKU...but man, do I speak!!!!" )
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City