Re: Uniform Costs
Susan Best (SuBest@AOL.COM)
Tue, 3 Sep 1996 18:21:09 -0400
On Sep 1, Ian Ford said:
>What sort of message are we giving when we say " The uniform is hat, shirt,
neckerchief, belt, pants ... but you don't need to wear it all, just what you
fancy ? " Just try telling the Soccer coach that Johnny hasn't got his
complete uniform but he still wants to play ... week one he's on the bench,
week two he's off the team.
>It's a bit like the kids who turn up to troop meetings wearing their
basketball uniform " because they didn't have time to change " ... I said
next time wear their Scout uniform to basketball ... would the coach let them
play ? No ? " OK, same applies with Scouts ... see you next week ... "
>OK, you lose a few marginal kids, but the really motivated Scouts can see
that the troop means business. Youngsters need to choose between priorities,
and if it is always Scouting that backs down the Scouts are the losers.
>I've been to parents meeting where the Committee tried to plan camping trips
around sports, the eighth grade field trip, the band concert ... no, sorry
... We plan our program, the sports teacher plans his, the bandmaster plans
his. Then the Scouts define their priorities. And if that means that Johnny
can't advance because every night and weekend is taken up with sports, band
and additional classes then that is his choice.
Let's not sell ourselves short, folks ...
I feel that this is a bit harsh. Our troop does require full uniform on
trips, for SM Conf and BOR. While we would like to see all the Scouts in
full uniform at all meetings, it is not worth pushing the boy out of the
program over it. We consider it acceptable if a boy coming from a sport
practice or game is in that uniform. It's more important that the boy is
there than that they are in uniform.
Yes, the boys need to choose between priorities, but why make it more
difficult for them than it needs to be? If the boy is not advancing because
he is always choosing the other activity, there isn't much we can do (except
maybe having the SM or Advancement Chair talk to him). To plan a program
without some consideration for the boys schedules is asking for trouble.
Particularly when the school program is dealing with hundreds of students,
teachers, etc. and we are dealing with maybe 60 or 70 people. That doesn't
mean you let the school schedule, etc. control you, but at least acknowledge
that it is there. We try to work our schedule around the obvious schedules
of both the boys and the leaders (for example, trying to avoid the weekends
that the leaders are campmasters at the local scout camp).
Your comment regarding the lose of marginal kids seems a bit cavalier. While
we can't serve every kid, I think we should make every effort to provide a
program that they can work with. As I have learned both at work and in
raising my son, it's important to pick your battles. Choose what is
important (such as true effort in advancement, scout spirit, etc.) not
whether the boy is in uniform at every meeting. I acknowledge that some may
consider full uniform at all times a battle worth fighting, we simply do not.
I don't know what it's like in the UK, but in many parts of the US, Scouting
is not considered to be "cool," even by the boys who like it. It therefore
takes a lot for some of these boys to stay with it. At least in this area,
the number of boys in scouting out of the available pool is relatively small
and we work to provide a good program that will keep their interest.
I get SCOUTS-L on digest, so I apologize if this is backtracking on an older
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City