Sun, 9 Apr 1995 20:10:00 -0400
Tricia (my wife) & I were discussing the soapbox I got on regarding my sense
of the halfway attitude that some have about partial uniforming being another
manifestation of the ills of the society in which we now live.
She commented that a Brownie Troop my daughter was in had a rather lax
uniform policy, but most of the girls had, and wore uniforms. It was
interesting to note that the one girl who had the least means of all the
girls had a uniform. It was not a new one, but she wore it proudly.
Ironically, the girls who did not have or wear uniforms were from housholds
with better means.
We have since moved, and the Brownie Troop she is currently in not only has
no uniform requirement, but the leader does not encourage the wearing of a
uniform, even if the girls happen to have one.
Now, in an earlier posting, a Junior Girl Scout leader said that, in her
troop, all the girls wore complete uniforms. This was, according to the
leader, decided by the girls themselves. Then, the girls started pressuring
the _leader_ to get a uniform! Seems the tables were turned on the forced
uniforming issue :)
Which brings me to the crux of my posting: it seems to me that the greatest
part of the dissent on complete, or partial, or no, uniforming is primarily
generated by the adult leaders, rather than the youth.
Some of the comments regarding boys wanting to spend money for their view of
identity with the program being actively discouraged by some of the leaders
makes me think that some of the leadership has a greater problem with
dressing like scouts than the kids do.
These same leaders also, in my experience, have a lot of negative attitude
about aspects of the program - that is, the program does not conform to their
idea of reality, either. They would like to do things that would deviate
from policies and program, even though the practices would endanger the boys'
advancement, the boys' lives, or the leaders' financial well-being.
Something about "It ain't gonna happen to me."
Bottom line is this: no matter what the leaders think about uniforming,
program, two-deep leadership, or whatever, if the boys want to do something
within the guidelines of the program, it is the leaders' jobs to make it
happen. Any difference of opinion should not be divulged to the boys, or the
boys' parents, whether it be adults browbeating boys into going with partial
uniforms, or some rule that comes down from on high.
Go to Roundtable or Service Unit meetings, and discuss those feelings with
your peer group, i.e., other leaders. If this is preaching to the choir in
your eyes, then share it with someone who needs to hear this. Besides, the
meetings can be fun (and don't count toward your hour a week :)
Randy Spradling, P.E.
(and a good ole owl, too)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City