Re: About the Boys [Semi Long]
Lisa Varner (lvarner@FREENET.COLUMBUS.OH.US)
Sun, 21 May 1995 14:33:15 -0400
On Fri, 19 May 1995, Erik Ashby wrote:
> What is the main reason for scouting?
---flame suit on---
I'm not sure there is ONE main reason for scouting. There is so much that
scouting can do for someone and everyone gets something different from it
to round them out as a whole, and complete person.
> This question sounds simple,
Not to me! What scouting does for someone is very complicated.
> but let me raise some concerns. I have introduced the Summer camp activity
> to the boy scout leaders (SPL,ASPL,PLS, ect.). The Summer camp is
> providing quite a bit of activities, merit badges, service projects and more
> for the scouts. The scouts are expected to be in Uniform, and have a
> troop flag ceremony every morning, along with daily cooking, cleaning,
> and normal camp stuff in a "Wilderness Camp". The leaders are
> complaining that the camp is too "HARD", and that they won't have any
> "FUN", if they "MUST" do the things outlined. Several of the leader boys
> are already saying that they will not even go on the camp.
You seem to be caught between a rock and a hard place. You know the value
of what scouting can do for these kids. BUT...if it is so planned, down to
the minute, and they know that, they may not come. If they are not there,
scouting will do nothing for them. They will learn nothing, they will
> "Why can't we just go camping somewhere fun for a week?", were some of the
> comments made.
Listen to the boys and take head. Or they will just drop out.
> I feel that an aggressive program that challenges each
> boy to do his best, turns out to also be the best and most remembered
This is true, but if they don't go, they won't have anything to remember,
except the list you made of things to do.
> I also feel that uniforms are also important.
Agreed, but they have their place. And every day, all day, at camp is not
one of them. If you want them to wear uniforms for ceremonies or other
special events at camp fine. But a troop t-shirt of some kind to make
them all "uniform" during other activities is plenty during a camp.
> So back to my original question, what is the point of scouting?
> To just have fun, or to help the boys grow?
Why not both? Can't you have fun learning? There are many things that
would qualify as merit badge activities that are fun when presented
properly. They don't even have to know it is a requirement until later.
They don't have to be digging, hauling, building, and racing every moment.
> and how do you train the scout leaders about the roll of scouting?
2) Talking with other scout leaders as to what has worked for them (just
like your doing here on scouts-l!)
3) More training.
> Just a note, I have a small LDS troop of 12 boys 12-14 years old.
I also have a troop of 13 girls ages 12-14. And I can tell you from
experience...they need SOME down time. They don't get it in school or at
home anymore, no time to be kids. This is a funny age and friendships are
very important to them at this age. But the down time can be productive time
A few girls in my troop wanted to get walking staves (because their
brothers had them from boy scouts). Take troop money to buy these, I
thought was ridiculous at this point. I said to the girls, "You do
understand that to use a walking stick...you must first walk?" I
suggested on our campout this summer we spend sometime whittling our own
sticks for our short hikes, and if we find we are really enjoying the camp
hiking and want to go further into day hiking, or backpacking, we can then
buy sticks. I told them you can keep a record of your hikes and your
mileage by carving notches in your stick. They really liked this idea
better than a bought stick. The time we spend sitting around a campfire,
whittling is down time. They talk, joke, plan and work and learn all at
the same time. Productive down time helps. During down time is when they
freely talk and joke and learn to bond with each other. Without the kids
bonding, you won't have a successful troop. You will have robots.
Something can be said for the many hours I spent as a kid catching
polliwogs in an old jar and letting them go. When you caught a frog, turtle
or butterfly, it was facinating!
We had one camp that our head leader allowed the girls lots of free-time to do
whatever they pleased in the confines of the camp. It was fun the first
day, restful the second and VERY boring after that. Too much of anything
is not good. When they returned home they realized they had
accomplished nothing on that trip. Moderation and balance is the key.
---I'm sure not everyone will agree with this so I'm leaving the suit
Lisa Varner << email@example.com >>
Haven't been there. Don't want to go. Don't need another t-shirt!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City