Re: BSA & Smoking Policy
Jim and Robin VanderRoest (JScharf@AOL.COM)
Tue, 25 Apr 1995 00:01:53 -0400
On Sun, 23 Apr 1995 17:59:42 EDT, Norman J. MacLeod wrote:
> I think the BSA is shooting itself in the foot on this one. There are a lot
> of Leaders who are also smokers. Some of them have tried to stop, but
> cannot. Are the rules now telling them to put out the smoke or get out of
No where has National stated that they want Scouters to leave BSA if they
can't quit smoking. This is absurd! What the policy intends is that
Scouters should avoid openly "using dangerous, addictive drugs" at scouting
events where youth are in attendance. It does not state that if you choose
to smoke at a Scouters only event or by yourself that you must leave
scouting. Just don't do your drugs in front of the kids. Remember, the
program is for the boys! If it is not for the boys, its for the birds!
Do you drink alcohol at camp in front of the boys? Of course not. Nor do most
scouters choose to drink in private at a scout event, as they know their
breath will telegraph to the scouts that they have been drinking. Most
smokers do not realize how obviously horrible the smell of cigarette smoke is
on their clothes and on their breath to non-smokers (especially kids).
There's no one being fooled, here. Scouters who smoke in front of other
people's kids are nothing but hypocrites, plain and simple.
This goes back to the uniforming issue, as well as most "problems" with BSA
policies -- we are setting an example for the boys. We are leading by
Kids will tend to mimic their leader's behavior. We wear full uniforms to
encourage full uniforms for the boys. We show Scouting Spirit to encourage
the boys to show Scouting Spirit. We try to follow the Scout Oath and Scout
Law to encourage the boys to do the same.
Kids of any age are smart enough to know that smokers can withstand periods
of time as long as a day at work or several hours on the plane without
smoking. If a Scouter smokes in front of them, obviously this scouter just
doesn't care and can't be trusted in other leadership demonstrations.
Both of us are long term ex-smokers, and have recently been pursuaded by the
dialoge on Scouts-L to the benefits of full uniforming. All of us are trying
to do right by the boys. Let us not turn this new policy into an US and THEM
situation. We do not serve the boys by becoming divisive over a non-issue
ttfn / YIS
Jeanne and Bill Scharfenberg
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City