Re: Non Use of Scout Handbook
Pete Murray (pjmurray@IX.NETCOM.COM)
Tue, 9 Apr 1996 18:04:51 -0700
at first I was astounded at how these boys regarded something that
has always held a special place in my life and heart. But I was the son
of an English teacher (hard to tell, I know) and I grew up loving books
and read quite often. I remember reading each and every issue of Boys
Life at least twice, for that matter. Frequently I was the butt of many
a joke... "Mr. Know-it-all..." etc etc. Still, my love of reading has
made a lifelong impact.
As I sit back and ponder the situation though, I see a real
possibility to help these boys see reality. If approached right, I
think you can SHOW these Scouts what they have really missed. Either by
asking those questions only reading the book will reveal, or by
consistently showing how you solve everyday problems with it, you have
the opportunity to make a lasting impact. The trick is to not DEMAND
this loyalty from them, but to instill it in them.
Remember, this is NOT a holy book. It was never meant to be. It is
a mere guide to Scouting, and mighty good one at that. You might
consider buying them handbooks. You can even tell them each
individually how much YOU get out of it and even inscribe it to them
personally. Then you would want to follow up by asking how they thought
the section on cooking was, or how did you like the explanation of the
Scout's sign? If they hold you as a true leader, you will find these
boys trying to show you how much they are learning. Soon, other boys in
the troop will catch on and it could be endemic. It all depends on WHAT
and HOW you place your emphasis. If you provide a great example, the
boys will emulate you.
The real test for them will be later on in life, when they will
probably be required to read and understand much. I work in the
Automotive field, and frankly, a good portion of my work has me reading
through various manuals, and discerning various systems and components
from each other. Being a bookworm has helped me to excel where others
simply shrug and give up. Scouting is a great preparation for the real
world. It is where the boys not only learn how to follow verbal
instructions, but also how to cope with the ever changing technical
environment we now find ourselves in. If they won't/can't read, then
they had better be prepared for a life of being obsolete.
I hope this wasn't too long or impassioned....
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City