Re: "Policy changes" by LDS Units (Long)
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAP.GWU.EDU)
Sat, 17 Sep 1994 23:35:04 -0400
I applaude your concern for accommodating as many diverse groups as
possible in planning District and larger Scouting events. As we try to
open Scouting to more areas of our community, it is vitally important to
be sensitive to all sorts of practices, observances, and limiting factors.
In response to your call for a showing of what other Districts are doing,
let me share some of what we have done. We no longer conduct training or
rountables in facilities that are not handicap accessable. We also are
concerned that in planning for meals that we offer sufficient variety to meet
many dietary needs and
no doubt we could do better. Similarly, we encourage Packs to vary
activities on weekends between Saturday to Sunday due to religious diversity.
At the District level we have also participated in LDS Mini-Philmont
sessions using both non-LDS and LDS Scouters. Because of the large LDS
population in our area we have two ADCs for LDS units out 13 ADCs in the
District. We have had some sensitivity training on Hispanic culture for
our District Committee and District Commissioners as well.
For us this means that we're getting started in the direction we want to
go. We've had discussions on how to move farther in this direction and
more is planned.
But this alone is not enough. The sad thing is that it only takes one
unit's leadership to send a message that can put Scouting out of reach for
a community of potential Scouts. I know of a Pack that featured a variety
of pork related treats at a Pack Meeting where a sizable number of the
youth were from Islamic families (and the leaders knew about dietary
considerations, but didn't accommodate). Needless to say, this was taken as a
very unwelcome gesture and those families left the Pack. They probably
won't be back and many of their friends probably won't ever join.
I share this last with the List in the hopes that it reminds us a
Commissioners and Scouters that we still need to get the word to units.
Yours in Scouting, Michael F. Bowman, a/k/a Professor Beaver
Deputy District Commissioner Exploring, GW Dist., NCAC, BSA
Speaking only for myself, but with Scouting Spirit . . .
____ mfbowman@CAP.GWU.EDU ____
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City