Re: Funeral, Scouts and Grief
Joyce McKibben (MCKIBBEN@MSUVX2.MEMST.EDU)
Fri, 1 Apr 1994 19:26:30 -0600
I would like to thank you for bring up a topic that many of us as youth
leaders may face, even if we don't want to think about it.
While I can fully understand a councils extreme reluctance to recommend
that a youth recieve counselling or not (liability issue here), I am
firmly convinced that a council should keep a list of counselling
resources that are available in the area. I also believe that this needs to be
included in the Basic Training for all levels. Included in this segment of
training should be information on what we, as leaders, can do to help a
youngster with grief. It should also include what can be done to help the
rest of the unit in dealing with their feelings as a result of a grief
situtation. The Cub Scout Program "Ethics in Action" has a short section
that barely touches on this and it could have been done much better (at least
we know that National has thought about this).
I had a similar type problem come up in my pack last year. Last May there was
arather horrific crime in the area. Three 8 year old Cub Scouts (not in my
Pack) were brutally murdered by a group of three teenagers. In my Pack there
were several boys who were very upset by this event. I and several Den Leaders
were fielding questions such as, Why did this happen?, Will it happen again?,
and Could it happen to me?. To say the least, we felt totally inadequate and
helpless in this situtation. We also had to say something to several of the
parents because they had not noticed that anything was wrong with their sons.
One of the boys was so terrified about the murders that he spent several hours
One of the boys was so terrified about the murders that he spent several
(oops sorry, I bumped the mouse) crying on my shoulder during a trip we had on
Memorial Day weekend. When I asked him why he takled to me about this instead
ofhis parents hhe said that he was afraid that his parents would think that he
was being a baby.
Even with the trials in this incident now over this has created problems that
we are just now finding.
If there had been some type of training in these types of situtations then
we could have done a better job.
One last observation is that we need to make sure that a boy does not feel
left out or ostracized if as in the situtation that Mike mentioned a parent
commits suicide or is arrested for a crime.
These are just a few observations that I have on this subject, hopefully we
can get more commentary. I know that I could use the advice.
Cubmaster, Memphis TN
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City