DAVID GILLHAM (david.gillham@ALMAC.CO.UK)
Sat, 19 Nov 1994 12:07:00 +0100
IV. Drug, Alcohol, and Tobacco Use and Abuse
>The Boy Scouts of America prohibits the use of alcoholic |
>beverages and controlled substances at encampments or |
>activities on property owned and/or operated by the Boy |
>Scouts of America, or at any activity involving participation |
>of youth members. |
>Adult leaders should support the attitude that young adults |
>are better off without tobacco and should not allow the use |
>of tobacco products at any BSA activity involving youth |
Well done BSA. At least you know where you stand (or you do if you read
Whilst not wishing to deride U.K. Scouting I have certainly noticed that
we do not have equivalent written guidelines here, with the result that
alcohol can sometimes be found on scout camp sites. An example of this
is a recent scout event, involving a Scout Camp site, where a reception
was held for adult leaders and to which the highest 'ranking'
commissioners from Scotland and the U.K. were attending. But to add
insult to injury one poor scouter was 'told off' for having a discreet
cigarette out of view of the scouts, because he was in uniform.
Surely the time is right for us all to discuss this issue in the light
of modern thinking. I'm not saying that I either agree or disagree with
drinking and/or smoking in uniform, but until we design a set of rules
to which we can all subscribe there is bound to be a lot of bigotry on
the subject. For example, I can think of two opposing views on alcohol:
1. It is never right to drink in uniform, we need to show the
scouts that fun can be had without drink and drugs.
2. It is right to show our scouts that alcohol, responsibly and
moderately consumed by adults does no harm.
As a further example, I am aware that my 16 year old son has started
taking alcohol, but will not make a big issue of it. Several other
parents plus my wife and I feel that by allowing them to experiment in a
controlled environment less harm will come to our children in the long
term than if we adopted a heavy handed 'thou shalt not' approach which
would, in all likelihood, lead to secretive alcohol abuse.
Just a few thoughts, not intended to be critical as I am sure that the
dilemma is faced worldwide. Thoughts on the subject welcome.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City