Peter Farnham (pfarnham@ASBMB.FASEB.ORG)
Wed, 19 Jun 1996 12:10:03 EST
Once again, this deathless issue has reared its ugly head. The policy
on this that I've been told is current is that "if you must smoke,
don't smoke in front of the boys." This is pretty clearcut, it seems
to me, and is a good compromise.
What concerns me a lot in our district is the ignoring of this policy
which I see at district events by a small group of long-time, senior
district people who ought to know better. At roundtables, that's one
thing; usually, scouts don't attend these. But these particular
people were constantly smoking in front of scouts at the last district
camporee--weren't even trying to be discreet about it.
This is not a good example to set to our charges, especially since we
are supposed to be teaching them about the dangers of use of tobacco
and alcohol as an advancement requirement for 2nd Class. First, by
smoking, we are engaging in an act that is at best ill-advised on
personal health grounds (I cannot believe there is anyone on this list
who would disagree with this statement). Second, by doing it in front
of the youths, we are displaying the "Do as I say, not as I do"
mentality. Finally, by smoking in front of the youths we are telling
them that the rules don't apply to us, although they do to them.
Not all district scouters ignore this policy. One of the camporee
assistant directors was also a smoker, but I didn't even know it until
one morning I got up with the dawn, and saw him standing off in the
woods by himself, smoking a cigarette. At no time during the entire
camporee did I see him smoking publically, let alone in front of the
scouts. Would that others took their responsibilities as role models
SM, Troop 113
GW District, NCAC
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City