Problem to chew on
Greg Smith (G88Smith@AOL.COM)
Sat, 28 Oct 1995 00:49:16 -0400
Bruce Rosen was certainly correct in describing his "problem" as a tough one.
Blayden Thompson pretty well covered the subject, but I thought I would
throw in my $.02 anyway.
We have faced "problems" in our troop and, although they did not compare in
scale to Bruce's scenario, the same principles we used are applicable. BSA's
major task is developing young men into effective, functioning adults. To
meet that promise, we must do more than seek out the gems and polish them --
we need to make the most out of ALL of our raw materials.
This commitment is most often viewed as it applies to the individual boys.
"What can we do to help Johnny?" I can't help but think that scouting has
been the critical element that kept the marginal kid from going off the deep
end (notwithstanding the "bad Eagle" stories that whave been posted
recently). As Blayden said, the reclaimation must be done in a way that
protects the others in the troop.
But there is another reason to keep the tough problems in the troop. We
constantly preach to our young leaders that they have to lead by example, and
the same applies to the adults. What message do we send when our solution to
difficult issues is to remove the "problem"? Is anything solved? Is "out of
sight, out of mind" a valid object lesson? In the "real world", ignoring the
issue, hiding the issue, moving away from the issue, etc., etc. gives you
short term relief with bigger headaches down the line.
There is a lot of benefit in showing our boys how to tackle the hardest
problems. Even if the troop fails to "save" a hard case, we have taught a
valuable object lessen in reality -- you are not always successful, but you
always keep trying. I suspect many of you would agree that we need more
leaders in our society that tackle the problems rather than side step them.
Time to step off the soap box. Thanks for listening.
In the scouting spirit,
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City