Re: A Scout is Trustworthy
Mon, 30 Sep 1996 16:17:24 -0500
Cheryl brings up a interesting comment:
>Uh, that li'l ol' cynic me sees a couple of pitfalls to making these
>examples of other folk assuming Scouts are Trustworthy too public.
>As several of us have mentioned, Scout shirts are available, often with
>insignia, at many thrift shops. At the NCAC Scout shop, anyone can buy a
>uniform shirt, and how many non-Scouting types know just how much
>"padding" should be on it?
Most of the times, Cheryl, these "trusting actions" happen not because
we were there in a Scout shirt, but because of the way that we have
carried ourselves or because of the fact that we possess those special
cards that I always say are "better'n Gold cards!" ( I speak, natually,
of the Eagle Scout card, but my comment can equally be said for a
regular registration card or a Wood Badge card as well. I know of
Scouters that have used all of those cards to get "emergency assistance".
I also know of two cases whereby former Scouters or Scouts have
in despiration, raised their hands in the Scout Sign in the middle of
downtown and received help.)
There has been several (I can count them on both hands, seven to be
exact) whereby I've been out of gas, oil, or suffered some other "usual"
consequence of driving an older car and someone else has either provided
me with what I needed, took me to some place to place a call or placed the
call for me, or trusted me with their money or (in one case) credit card
to assist me. This has happened to others here in this forum, from my
reading this evening, as well as to hundreds of other Scouts and Scouters
over the past 80-plus years of Scouting in America.
Also, I and other Scouts/Scouters whom have been assisted in those ways,
have went out of our ways to pay for or repay those acts of trust and
kindness...and most times, those payments or repayments get returned
with a short but blunt note which goes along the lines of "I didn't do it
for money....I did it to help you. Keep your money or give it to someone
that really needs it."
This has also happened to girls as well as boys, ending that old "slur"
that "sure, that ONLY happens to Eagle Scouts". And it happens to
people whom are NOT Eagle Scouts, but merely are part of the grand
"game" called Scouting.
Yeah, sure, there MAY be someone out there that attempts to take advantage
of a situation by wearing a uniform and "begging for money". But as I tell
Scouts and Scouters, "we can TELL a Scout or Scouter -- or a former one --
and it doesn't take a uniform for us to do it with...there's just something
about the "ethics of being of service" that leaks through even the roughest of
men and the toughest of women.
Give you a quick example. I was standing in the lobby area of a bus station
in 1990 (I take a lot of buses, especially during my college and graduate school
years). There was a older black man sitting on a bench, waiting for his bus.
It was obivious to everyone in the place that he was too old to be traveling
but it was equally obivious to everyone there that "I don't want to be seen
anywhere around this man". He smelled, his clothing was half on him, and he
was trying as hard as he could to understand the Greyhound recordings which
*I* had problems with understanding.
I watched as people looked at him at every "calling" of a bus and thinking the
same thing I was: he's a bum. He's got a ticket but he's not going anywhere.
That's why I didn't do anything. I've seen that happen before. Because
they don't have a home, they will buy a ticket to a short distance and then
sit there and "pretend" to miss the bus so that they would be forced to wait
until the next one.
(Greyhound/Trailways have gotten smarter since...if you don't get onto a bus
within a given time, they boot you out of the station until morning.)
That's when I saw this couple come up to the man. The girl was of Asian descent
and her male friend was white. They asked the man where he was going. When
they realized that the man was going toward Columbus, Ohio, the male went out
to check when the bus toward that direction was leaving. He reported that the
bus was out there and that he managed to get the driver to wait. The two people
walked the old man out to his bus and assisted him on the bus. They came back
in and was sitting at the same bench where the black man was sitting.
I smiled when after overhearing the guy say "That made me feel really good,
like it did when I was a Boy Scout". The girl laughed at him, then pointed
and asked "Were you REALLY a Boy Scout?? I was a Girl Scout for three years".
The boy raised his right hand in the Scout Sign and replied "On my honor. Yeah.
I had a blast". The two continued to recount their Scouting experiences
while waiting for their (our) bus toward Nashville.
Yep, Cheryl, it doesn't take a uniform to tell a Scout...past or present.
>Seems to me that highlighting another possible way to pull a con isn't
>exactly in our enlightened self-interest? It'll only take one or two
>incidents where "Scouts" weren't trustworthy to ruin everyone's image.
That's a part of the reasoning behind the BSA "asking" second-hand
places not to sell their uniforms and insignia, as well as "asking" Sal Army
and Goodwill not to sell our items...and part of the reason why it's
hard to find a used uniform....
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (Settummanque, the blackeagle)
Deputy Public Affairs Officer, 21st Theater Army Area Command
Kaiserslautern, Federal Republic of Germany
"everything I say is "on the record"; speaking ONLY for myself unless indicated"
personal inquiries via firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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