Re: My way of adressing this interesting challenge
Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Sun, 27 Feb 1994 19:21:26 EST
Beth Allerton <BETHPET@NERVM.NERDC.UFL.EDU> writes:
(and Connie Odum agreed with Beth on...)
>Oh, dear. I knew sooner or later I would have to butt in. Mike, I
>almost always cheer your responses, but in this case I only want to
>toss dirty diapers at y'all.
Owwww....YUCK!!! Sorry the two of you don't feel the same way. I do
have some rationale for my posting, however.
>You are discussing a young man about to be a father for the first time/
>or is a new one already. You are encouraging him to devote time away
>from his new family. He is "not getting along well" with his bride -
>well, if he runs back to Scouts when faced with RESPONSIBILITY, I for
>one would not get along well with HIM.
I didn't say for him to run *away* from his responsibility with his
new wife and family. However, I did mention that he and his new
family needs a outlet in order to get rid of that nagging cry that one
hears even when the child is not crying; or the "isolation" which is
caused when in the past *both* parties went out and were active to
this period where they "must stay in together with the new child".
I waited until Jess went downstairs to watch a movie before I
responded to this one. As the "new partner" in taking care of my
three children, she found out the "rough way" that it is NOTHING like
babysitting at all. She thought that she was ready the first three
times we had visits by them here, but in reality, she could not WAIT
for them to go "back to their mother", and understandably so.
Jessiann was used to being able to "take off", to go anywhere at
anytime and for no other reason other than to get out of the house.
With three children, it becomes a major mission to get everyone ready,
get everyone dressed and out to the car...and by then, the spontaneity
We've both gotten better....me at reading her face and sensing that
she needs to have "Jessi time", and she at realizing that she's become
a mother without the benefit of childbirth. We use Scouting (with or
without the children) as one of those outlets to get rid of the
isolation (you would NOT believe how folks react when she says that
she has to "take care of the children" on a given weekend...it's like
Tom Hanks telling Denzel Washington that he has AIDS!) and the
confining feeling that many new parents have.
I had this same experience as a new father when Amanda, my oldest
daughter, was born and still in the newborn phase. I can still
remember the first time we took her to Stuttgart (a 50 minute drive)
to attend the District Committee meeting. Mildred (my former wife)
and I were worried sick that Amanda would wake up, start crying and we
would have to leave before the meeting was over. And no, I wanted
both of them there....Mildred, because she had to give the Exploring
report, and Amanda, because she was too young (and we didn't know
anyone) to take care of her...
Mandy kept quiet, only occasionally cooing and grabbing her "sasser"
(pacifier...I kept three, including one in the glove compartment,
"just in case") from time to time to pop it in her mouth.
But still, everyone looked at me like "why did you bring your child
with you to the meeting?" until after the meeting, when one of the
Scouters finally asked that question and I told him "Scouting is a
family program. If I didn't believe that, I wouldn't be here.
Amanda's part of my family now, and we'll take her to Scouting events
as long as it don't endanger her or it's too cold for her to be
Since then, Amanda in her stroller or her front-pack went with me
anytime my Troop had a outing or some other activity that didn't
involve camping overnight. She accompanied me on the first three
hours of our first 50-miler trip, and went home with her mother at the
first rest stop, despite all of the Scouts wanting her to stay.
For the first time, several Scouts held a child in their arms, and
changed those dirty diapers. It gave a new meaning to "holding life
in the palms of your hands".
This new family needs a support team, and I feel that Scouting and his
involvement with an Explorer Post is *just what he and his wife and
child needs* in addition to his search for a fulltime job and other
ways to support his new family. The post, composed of youth his age
and perhaps older, will tend to accept him and his wife and new child
much more readily than the young boys in the Troop will.
>Scouting is fine, it is a good way of helping boys/young men. BUT let's
>keep in mind what he will be doing: Spending alot of time on Scouting.
>Can he afford to do that? What does his wife think? If she objects,
>are her objections rational?
We don't know what his wife thinks, but let's look at this from the
Exploring post perception rather than the Troop perception. Most
Explorer Posts meet twice a month for about a hour or two. The rest
of the time, they spend it doing whatever it is the Post specializes
in. I don't know what community this Life Scout lives in, but most
Councils have at least several Law Enforcement/police/fire protection
posts, a couple of Law and Government posts, about two dozen or so
Outdoor ("high adventure") Posts, and an assortment of other types of
Posts and perhaps one or two Sea Explorer Ships. Whatever the case,
the number of Exploring activities are lower than the number of
Scouting activities (on the average...please don't flame me if your
Council is one of the "exceptions"!!). Therefore, the total number of
events that he and his wife will take part in (along with Junior, if
the event lends itself to Junior's participation!) are NOT as large
and DOES NOT take the scope of "camping in the high Rockies".
The importance, Connie and Beth, are in the APPROACH that the Scouter
makes to both of them. Yeah, her objections may be rational ("I don't
have any interest in fire service", "I don't like the police", "I
swear I'll never go into another hospital again!"), in which there may
have to be a compromise, or a switch to another Post or Ship. And
remember, we are NOT talking a lifetime thing...this kid (and his
father) is interested in seeing him attain Eagle (for whatever
reason). Therefore, we are talking at the latest, nine to ten months!
>What are the living arrangements? Will the newlyweds be living with
>a parent ready to help out with the baby, allowing the boy time for
>his extracurricular activities? (yes, folks, I mean Scouting). I know
>how bad single parenting is- especially with a newborn. Even if it is
>just a new marriage, he should work on that. Eagle is a great goal, and
>can help, but going for it takes time and commitment, both of which
>he doesn't seem to have extra loads of. Look at the BIG PICTURE here
I have been saying this, in a roundabout way. I think that we all
give this guy "low marks" for the way that things have happened to
him. I say that even though Scouting is a "extracurricular activity",
it can be the ONLY one that both him and his new wife has. Remember
that she may still be going to school, and that right after school,
it's back to the house. No "hanging around the bus stop" for
her...she's got a child to take care of (and perhaps feed).
Therefore, there must be SOMETHING that both partners can do as a
OUTSIDE activity, away from the house and the "When are you going to
get a home of your own" family members! That IS the "big picture".
When a person can grab onto a goal, and keep that goal in front of
them, that goal becomes the nucleus of everything he or she does in
order to get there. Scouting (and Exploring in particular) can serve
as that nucleus for the job, the responsibility and the togetherness
that this family needs in order to survive as a family.
Many families use the priniciples of Scouting as part of their
childrearing. There's no reason why this family cannot do the same.
Besides, Beth and Connie, it may be *this kid* that convinces the city
or county to open up a special school for students with children.
It may be *this kid's* Eagle (or Exploring Achievment Award) project
in getting the city to provide tutors or assistance to new families,
poor and otherwise. THIS KID *has* the potential of doing something
good for himself, his family AND for the community he lives in.
It takes approach. It takes faith in this kid's abilities. And it
takes support of this kid's wife, child and family. It sounds
like he has the support of his family and he does have some faith in
his potential ability to complete this task.
>And really, expect a new mom to join an explorer post? Ha! How many
>full nights of sleep did you get? (or maybe you GUYS did.... :) )
YEAH! What's wrong with a new mom getting involved in something in
her community?? She would be working toward learning new skills,
JOB SKILLS, that we hope will land her a job with the chartered
partner of the Post. Lot's of girls do it, and they've got a full
dancecard in addition to the Post! *grinning*
For the record, I drew the nightshifts with Amanda (until she climbed
out of her crib, the marking point in which they don't get rocked or
patted to sleep anymore, they get placed in the baby bed) and Aaron
(having to endure many nights of his screaming in constant pain due to
his ears...) until he was four; and changed all three diapers (cloth
and paper with the first two; paper only with the last) until they all
grew out of them. I also paper change our best friend's youngest
daugther from time to time as well.
A *full* night?? I don't get many of those NOW (and we don't have any
small children to keep us up...)! I can't remember a "full night's
sleep..." There was always SOMEONE (a resident assistant, a hall
director, a military soldier, a child, a Scout, CNN, or presently
Jessiann) waking me up! What's a full night's sleep?? heheheheh
Your comments are well taken, Beth and Connie. I still feel that what
this kid needs are folks similiar in age and experience (or exposed to
those experiences) as the Life Scout. Exploring sounds to me to be
their best bet and his best bet toward Eagle.
Settummanque!@HEY! I'd better get downstairs and eat dinner....
Settummanque, the blackeagle... (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (
(h) 502-782-7992 (f) 502-781-7279 (w) 502-782-7467 |-=-|]
3201-D Cave Springs Avenue -- Greenwood, KY 42104-4439 -=====-
Internet: WALTOML@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU/America OnLine: KYBLKEAGLE@AOL.COM
"Not speaking for WKU......................but I do speak well!!"
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City