Re: Role & Responsibilities of Parents at Campouts
Ian N Ford (ianford@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Sun, 18 Aug 1996 17:25:45 +0100
But WHY is it that parents want to fuss over their kids on Scout camp ?
As a Brit I had always imagined Americans as being the ones who would be strong
on teaching their kids independence and pushing them to stand on their own two
feet ... back to the Frontier and the Pioneer Spirit " a man's gotta do
what a man's gotta do " and all that.
My parents always suported me, but it through was love and encouragement at
home that gave me the emotional strength to " do my own thing ", not by
doing it for me. When I joined Cubs at eight I had to wash and iron my
scarf and polish my shoes, because that was the way my parents encouraged me to
take pride in the uniform. It also signalled that if I wanted to take
part in something I had to put the effort in to get the satisfaction out.
I wonder if the kids whose uniforms are ready to wear, whose parents pack their
kits and drive them to meetings are really putting in the <personal>
commitment ... maybe that accounts for some of the motivation and discipline
problems one reads about. Maybe kids don't value things that come too easy.
The greatest thing that my parents taught me was how to fail. I know that
sounds crazy, but when things went wrong their first question was " Did you
do the best you could ? " If I had tried, then that was all that could be
expected. If not, I realised that I could not blame anybody else. Then
their next question was " And what are you going to do about it ? "
They didn't try to plan my like for me in every detail, but they were
there to praise my successes and to support me when things didn't go so well.
So with parents in camp ... they have to let the kids live off cola,
hamburgers and chips on their first campout, then next time suggest a more
ambitious menu next time. If the experienced Scouts have been living off
chicken and dumplings , chillie and rice or whatever with cobblers for
desert then the kids will work out for themselves what is needed.
If a kid has spent half an hour trying to light a fire with green wood
the lesson goes home far better than if the adults go wooding with them
and tell them wich pieces to bring back, then light the fire for them.
And yes, it means the adults have to wait an hour for their coffee ...
life is tough. <g>
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City