Re: What is a "Class A uniform"?
Tim Goncharoff (tgonchar@CATS.UCSC.EDU)
Mon, 12 Aug 1996 08:38:36 -0700
> What's wrong with military
Well, here's a hot topic. A little historical perspective might help
(Please correct me on any misapprehensions). There's certainly no denying
Scouting's historical connection with the military. There was a time in
our nation's history when this seemed to make sense to most people. For
better or worse, that time has passed (At least for now. Who knows when
the pendulum might swing back the other way.). After the Vietnam war,
all things military lost some of their appeal to much of the population.
Fairly or not, Scouting was affected by this as well. Recruitment
suffered, and many troops went out of business. A good hard look at our
purpose and methods was in order, and some changes, specifically the
disavowal of anything military, came out of it.
I have had a number of parents express reservations to me when they and
their sons were considering joining scouts. Parents described
recollections of their scout days that included heavy emphasis on
marching, rifle drills (!), and requirements including being able to
enter and leave a pool silently. I'm not sure how much these reflected
the official Scouting program and how much the choice of some individual
leaders, but I'm happy to be able to tell parents that we don't do any of
that, and that in fact, we're specifically prohibited from that sort of
A respect for our flag, our nation, and for those who defend them are
still important in our troop. Several times a year we raise and lower
hundreds of flags at the local veterans cemetary. Some of our boys may
choose a military career later in life, and I wish them well. I believe,
however, that Scouting's current emphasis on developing self-reliance,
leadership and good citizenship are appropriate for our times.
(I hear my soap box threatening to collapse. Any other views?)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City