Where there's smoke, there's ire!
Mary M. Fry (MFry889904@AOL.COM)
Wed, 20 Mar 1996 09:03:43 -0500
Ok, let's try and be rational; let's think of the messages we want to send to
consistency and tolerance.
If an adult has incredible gifts to offer a pack or troop, works well with
they are in their emotional/spiritual development, is not a "power monger"
the adult pecking order, works a team, gives cheerful service, BUT smokes
is willing to do so privately and not in front of the boys, handles his/her
do we want to deny the pack or troop this person's gifts because we are
judge? Do we send a message to boys that it is ok to quickly "cast aside"
because of that one bad habit? Is the loss of those gifts on the committee
Scoutmaster Corps a greater loss, in the long run, than tolerance, within
of human imperfections? What does it say to the boys about their being
even though imperfect, or about our hoping they will learn to accept
for positives in everyone? When we adults "snipe" at each other over those
what example does it set for the boys in terms of cooperation and kindness
and courteous are in there for a reason--it's not just about patches and red
Conversely, are we, then, going to allow the smokers to "snipe" at the
physically unfit overweight adults? Are we going to accept only those adult
who pass a strict requirement meeting the physically fit, morally straight
and then, of course, comes the question: who among us can sit on that
glorious perfection, and make that decision? Will I have to drop and give
you 20 for
you to consider me worthy of helping you develop boy character? (I did my
forced sit-up in high school)
In the long run, when we create these built-in overly-simplified
the adults concerning who does or does not meet "standards," when we play
out amongst ourselves at committee meetings or at campouts in front of the
model badly for boys -- the adults can not reach a civilized
other people's differences, handle our disagreements kindly and with
how can we expect boys to do within their own patrols what we don't seem to
amongst the adults?
I am a smoker. I come from a third-generation Scouting family--it is a
lifestyle, not a
contest. It is about character, not resumes. I respect the rights of
I do not and would not smoke near them if they told me it bothered them. I
never dream of ridiculing a fat adult in front of the boys in my son's
troop; I do not
indulge in conversations about adult compulsions (food, gossip, yuppie
patch collections, cars, real-estate, political connections--pick one) in
front of boys.
I do not serve at District and Council events to pad my own adult resume,
grow boys, to see them develop self-esteem and grow into the very best
adult possible--kind and courteous included.
I do, however, have a bad habit (not my only one--no one is perfect): I
I do it discreetly away from the boys; I do not share with boys; I do not
to begin the habit, in fact, I've discouraged several, mostly because it
costs too much.
If that habit is going to disqualify me, even though I've been a
registered leader for
9 years, beginning with Tigers, then consider me unworthy, and
There are several Dads in our troop who smoke that I would be delighted if
modeled some of his eventually grown-up character after. No problem.
With all due respect, get a life. Perspective, balance.
What does your attitude say to the boys?
What size is your red jacket?
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City