The Uniform vs. Smoking Policies
Stan Hodge (STANH@MAIL.TDOC.TEXAS.GOV)
Thu, 27 Apr 1995 09:39:17 -0600
Did this group suddenly change membership lists? For the past couple of
weeks I have read daily about the scout uniform. Some emotional
responses, to be sure, but most of them well reasoned on both sides. I
have been treated to a debate that exposed all of the vital issues (surely
there could not be anything more to say?).
I might summarize this way, some felt the uniforms were too
expensive and not built well enough for daily use by active boys. Jeans
were the alternative suggested most often, offering durability at a
significantly reduced cost. (Can anyone counter this argument directly?
I think that on the face of things it must be true. Others, however, seem
to have been around longer and at least express themselves more
knowingly stating that there are other considerations that more than
offset the cost. The benefits offered are unarguably most desirable.
The suggestions of using experienced uniforms, a uniform bank, uniform
scholarships certainly seem to at least offer tools to deal with the cost.
The bottom line for this group is that national policy has established a
uniform and we are not free to adopt any other policy because the
national policy is a proven and accepted standard.
This week the tables were turned, and the old-timers seem to be
having their toes stepped on as a national policy which has been in
existence at least as long as I have been in scouting (almost 20 years),
to wit that, leaders should not smoke in the presence of the boys at any
organized scouting activity. As I read the mail (and I could be wrong), it
seems to me that the greatest resistance here comes from the same
group that most strongly supported the full uniform.
I guess it depends on which side of the table we sit. National
Policies are most surely not always right. When they are wrong we
should work to change them. But why should any of us (uniforms or
smokers) assume we have the right to pick and choose which policies
we will follow and which we will not.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City