Matt Harline (harline@GSLXSRV1.ROSE.HP.COM)
Fri, 30 Aug 1996 19:10:22 PDT
> From: Mark Browning <mbrownin@JCCCNET.JOHNCO.CC.KS.US>
> Subject: Re: Uniforms
> If the troop is truly boy-run, then isn't the
> "right thing" whatever they choose. Of course I don't mean that if they
> choose to sacrifice new Scouts to Baal that is okay, but there is no moral
> imperative to uniform wearing, so how can we say there is a "right thing."
> And if giving good information and guidance to them always produced what
> the adults wanted, then aren't the adults really running things?
Sometimes the "right thing" *is* whatever they choose. Sometimes,
however, they do not choose the "right thing". That is where the
Scoutmaster and other Adult leaders need to step in and start GUIDING.
I have had leaders in my troop that, if they got to choose what
to do and what to wear each week for troop meeting, they would choose
anything but scout uniforms and do nothing but play basketball in the
church gym. (And not even an organized game of basketball. Just
horsing around, playing odd games of 1-on-many.)
Boys can't always see the benefits that wearing a uniform can bring.
In fact, at times it isn't easy as an adult to see the benefits of the
uniform. But it is one of those "little" things that adds to the unity
of the troop and the patrol. Yes, there are other things that build
unity in the troop and patrol, but you need to use every tool you have
available to you.
Scouting can be fun, and we need to make it fun. Boys need to lead
the troop, but if they start to go off in a direction that is not
appropriate, the adult leaders need to steer them back in the right
direction. Playing basketball became such an easy crutch for the boys
in our troop to use when they had not adequately planned for a meeting,
that we needed to just say NO to basketball at all times. Now that we
have more of a Boy Scout program running, and the boys are having fun
doing scout things, it is OK to have an occasional basketball activity
as part of the Troop meeting (but not for a whole meeting). We would
never have gotten to this point, with the boys planing and running the
meeting, and the boys wearing at least a partial uniform (shirts now...
pants tomorrow) if we had not taken some steps as adults to guide the
boys into a situation where they could truly grow.
Well, I've said enough already...
Scoutmaster Troop 358 Citrus Heights, CA
Pony Express District / Golden Empire Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City