warm fuzzies and can you believe this?
Lisa Blackburn (blackburn@MET.CO.NZ)
Fri, 25 Nov 1994 00:00:15 EST
First a success story.
Last night my rover crew went to one of our local cub packs to take an
evening's activites. First we played ice cube hockey, with ice cubes made in
margarine containers and rolled up newspapers for sticks, the boys had a great
time and so did we.
Then we made warm fuzzies (thanks to all that sent the info and story), we
had little stick on eyes and feet and warm fuzzies of all sorts of colours and
shapes and sizes and if the mess is any indication, the boys really enjoyed
The night ended with the boys giving us a cub BRAVO for coming to see them.
It was great.
Now a grumble. Can you believe this? (may get long)
Rover in New Zealand has recently gone through a review period, where a small
committee decided that in order for rovering here to survive there had to be
some changes made. Most of the changes were fairly minor, the qualifications
for a badge changed, rover advisors job description changed, that sort of thing
nothing that we could not have put up with. The one thing that most of the
500 or so rovers here did object to was the age change. The ages currently
start at 18 and finish at 31 and those over 31 can stay on as Associate rovers.
This committees recommendation was to change the ages to 18-26 for full rovers
and 26 to 31 Associates and then nothing. (as it is at the moment you can be
a rover until you die).
How they came about this horrific recommendation was this, the committee was
set up orginally to look into the rover section and particularly the uniform.
They sent out a questionnaire called The Lesiuretime Questionnaire" and it
asked a group from each crew what activites it liked to do it our spare time,
what age groups we assocaite ourselves with, that sort of thing. They did not
at any stage tell us what this questionnaire was for. I filled out the form
and like many others not knowing what is was for, I filled it out truthfully
but with tongue in cheek. Now I am rapidly approching my 30th birthday, my
oldest friend is 26 and the youngest just turned 18, so i put that I like to
spend time with people between the ages of 18 and 26. Can you see how that
worked. If you spend most of your time with rovers as I do, and most of the
crew is fairly young, like mine is, and as it was a blind questionnaire (in
many ways), the committee looked at it as the age group that people were
hanging around with are 18-26 so that is the age that rovers should be.
We think they should have been more honest and told us what the questionnaire
was for and asked specifically what age do you tink rovers should be?
Now what happened next was the committee release a document called the Rover
Review Panel Report. All the rover crews received one and was asked for their
opinions and thoughts. These thoughts and opinions were taken back to our Area
meetings and consoldiated into one document for each area with a vote on
whether to accept the recommendations or not. Now theses documents and votes
went to the national rover council which meets twice a year. It was decided at
that meeting to table to report unitl the Programme and training committee met
later this year. At the national rover council they did not vote on whether
to accept or defeat the age changes.
BTW this all started in about July 1993.
Now, as the Programme and training meeting in June (i think) was approching,
yet another round of opinions about the review came about from an amemded rover
review panel report. There was nothing starterling in the new report just
a few small changes to fairly minor things. The age change that has us so
upset was still going to take place.
Programme and Training tabled the document again until National Rover Council
met again in September. National Rover council decided to accept almost all
the report EXCEPT the age changes. This report then again had to go to
Programme and Training who decided to completely ignore our wishes and accepted
the complete review report including the age changes.
We thinks that this stinks, and here is our delema. We only found about this
last night (still unoffical) National Programme and training is the highest
committee in scouting here. There is nowhere higher to appeal to. The Area
Commissioners of which there are 11 may still be able to stop this from
What Scout Association headquarters does not realise, but this will have a very
large effect on all sections of scouting here. A good majority of rovers are
warrented leaders in other sections. I have been told by many leaders that if
the age change go through they will hand in their warrents and leave scounting.
I know that this may sound like overkill to many of you, but we have put up
with this for over a year now and quite truthfully I for one am totally sick of
it. If national headquarters and executive committee's do not listen to the
people who make up a large part of the scout association (leaders and members)
and pay their registration fees, why should we stay apart of it. If your boss
treated you like this you would start looking for another job.
What I would like (if possible) is some positive ideas on what steps we could
take. I know the canadian rovers have just been through something similar (I
don't know any of the details though, how did it go Marc?) maybe you have some
words of wisdom. I this my last year as a full rover, I do not want it to be
the last year for all rovers.
If you need clarification, feel free to ask
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City