Re: Peer Pressure on Scouts
JOAN E. UPHAM (UPHAMJE@SNYPOTVA.BITNET)
Wed, 17 Nov 1993 15:18:00 EDT
Non-scouts in our area (rural Northern NY state) "do" give the boys
who choose to be scouts problems. Our boys (from Jr. High on) would
"never" wear there uniform to school because they would be
harassed or perceive that they would. Basically, from what I hear
from the boys in our troop and from our son on this subject is...
non-scouts feel that scouting is a "wimpy" activity.
What my husband and I can't figure our is how it is perceived as
a "wimpy" activity...with all the outdoor and rugged things that
the scouts in a troop do!!! We were at the Jambo this summer to
visit our son and we didn't see one wimp in all the thousands of
boys that were there...in fact, I saw just the opposite especially
around places like the rappeling tower! But, sadly, this view
persists amoung the school-mate peers of the scouts...and I agree
with Chris Haggerty that it can't be all jealousy.
It DOES seem to disappear when a boy becomes Eagle though. I saw
this last year when our son (at age 15) got his Eagle and I think
I know why this happens. When his peers found out that he had
made Eagle, they asked him what that meant and what it took to
get it...when they found out what it took to attain that rank and
the small percentage that ever get it, there was a new respect
and admiration which emerged. There were, of course, some who
still didn't get it and weren't impressed but now there was a
large and growing number of peers who saw the "Eagle scout" in
a new light and they (the peers) were the ones who championed
the scouting movement, came to the defense of their scouting
classmate, and usually told the scoffers to "take a hike" if they
thought they could keep up with the scout!
Thus, I think the key to changing the opinion of the scouts'
peers is education...education about what it really takes to
be a scout and advance in rank. Remember...most of these
non-scout kids know what it takes to become a part of a
team (like basketball) and how one must excel to be a star
on that team...but how many of them know what it takes to
be a competant, contributing member of the scout team and
what it really takes to become a Star -- Life & Eagle --
on that team?
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City