Re: Scout Smoking __.oO
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAP.GWU.EDU)
Thu, 29 Sep 1994 05:19:58 -0400
This topic seems to have raised a few hackles and to have generated
solutions ranging from Scout developed resolutions to inquisitional
proceedings to kick out the doomed soul.
Scouting certainly discourages and always has discouraged Scouts from
smoking, but does not have a hard and fast rule that prohibits Scouts from
smoking, although some mistakenly believe a prohibition to exist. In my
opinion the absence of a rule in this area is probably intentional.
Scouting is there to help boys grow and develop. Not all of them are
going to be angels and some may be quite a bit worse. Does that mean we
should kick 'em out? No. It means that part of the program is accepting
the challenge to help all of them develop to the extent we can. The
idea is to take the boys as they are or become and try to motivate
growth. Thats why we have units organized in detention centers, reform
schools, and prisons. Speaking of which, it would be an odd result to
find a Scout could be kicked out for smoking, while a felon-youth/offender
could join and stay in the program.
Probably the best solution is to make sure that all of the Scouts know the
unit's and chartered organization's rules from the start. (Many units
find it a good idea to give new Scouts and Parents a handout reminding
them of the Troop's expectations; e.g. no sheath knives, no para-military
gear/weapons, no smoking, no drugs, etc.) When an infraction occurs, then
let the PLC decide how to handle it. Trust the Scouts to be responsible.
Usually the SM and/or Troop Committee will review their solution and be
surprised that the PLC was harder than the SM and/or Committee would have been
and occasionally will have to tone things down.
Finally, we might want to consider that, if we kick a Scout out for
smoking then we have pretty much ended our ability to help him do better.
Some may argue that the smoker will be a bad influence. This is where PLC
involvement is so important. Action by the PLC can pretty much change the
influence and bring about peer pressure in a positive manner.
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