Re: SCOUTS-L Digest - 4 Sep 1996 to 5 Sep 1996
Jim Smith UT (jsmith@SAREK.OSMRE.GOV)
Fri, 6 Sep 1996 08:30:54 -0600
> On Wed, 4 Sep, '96 Bob Amick wrote:
> Those "marginal kids" might be the very
> ones that need Scouting the most. Is there not a more positive way to
> encourage/help them to have the best of both worlds? You have to
> remember that athletics and other events are very important to young
> folks as well, and if forced to "choose" sometimes they choose athletics
> over Scouting. The point is why make them "choose" in the first place.
> Life is based on compromise and negotiation. Often there are ways to
> accomodate both, and still allow the Scouts to continue in the program
> and with advancement.
> It is my experience with a number of Scouts who were also fine athletes,
> or in band, etc., that when their season was done, they often came back
> to the unit and were very active and in fact were some of our best
> Scouts. Many of these made Eagle, served as outstanding leaders, and now
> have college athletic scholarships as well as being honor students.
> With a few exceptions, Scouts are not committed to an athletic/band
> program with heavy time constraints for more than a few months during the
> school year. There are of course a rare few who participate in almost all
> sports, so have a nearly year around committment. But we have been able
> to even accomodate some of them, and they were still able to obtain their
> Eagle and to serve in leadership capacities.
> Had we been "hardnosed"
> about their involvement, they would simply have
> dropped out. What a terrible alternative; fortunately, they were
> never placed in that position...so it was a "win-win" situation for
> Scouting and for their athletic/musical careers/interests..
In my opinion, it's not the ones in athletics, band, etc. that are the
greatest concern. Sure, these programs aren't Scouting, but they are
worthwhile programs and if properly run (which can be a very big 'if' with
any program, including Scouting) will overlap with or supplement many of the
methods and goals of Scouting and help produce well-rounded, mature, and
responsible adults. And if those youth involved in band, athletics, etc. can
also be involved in Scouting - or vice versa - , to whatever extent, all the
Its the youth who do not participate in sports, band (...4H, Boys and Girls
Club, etc., etc.), those who do sit at home in front of the tv, hang out
all day with no purpose or goal, cruise the streets, etc. that need Scouts
(...athletics, band, clubs, organized activities...) and probably need
them the most.
> The uniform is important, and to the degree that it can be provided for
> all Scouts, especially those in need, so it should be. But the uniform is
> not the ultimate objective of Scouting;...
But it is a method for achieving the objectives. Perhaps it is no longer
clear in our society, or even within Scouting, how the uniform can be
used as a tool, devise, or method to help reach the objectives.
> ...As envisioned by the founders,
> Scouting was conceived to provide an
> environment in which young adults grow both physically and mentally in the
> principles of the Scout Oath and Law, to become outstanding and creative
> individuals, responsible citizens and loving parents for their own
> children... and hopefully future leaders of Scouts of the future.
James D. SMITH
Utah Div. of Oil, Gas, and Mining
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